Christmas in Jerusalem
There is no place on Earth that would make your Christmas experience more special than the holy city of Jerusalem. How much more spiritual to be in the place where Christianity itself was born, to visit a city which is approximately a seventeen-minute drive from the birthplace of the Messiah, the town of Bethlehem!
Jerusalem is the place to be to celebrate Christmas. In fact, Christmas is celebrated three different times in Jerusalem: Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on December 25th, the Russian Orthodox on January 7, and the Armenian Christians observe January 19 (using the Julian Calendar) as the day Jesus was born. Picking one of those alternative dates can be a money saver if you want to celebrate Christmas but skip out on the overpriced airfare and hotels during the regular holiday affairs.
As ideal as celebrating Christmas in Jerusalem sounds, it is not as decorated and hyped up as we are used to seeing in the west, especially compared to the suburban neighborhoods all decked out in lights, reindeer, and Santa Claus parading in the front lawns. There are no Christmas carolers going door to door singing, Christmas music blaring from cars and homes, or reindeer on top of roofs. There are ancient churches to visit where you can attend a midnight Christmas mass, like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Notre Dame of Jerusalem. There are plenty of Christmas concerts that take place in areas of Jerusalem, and one can also partake in a tour to Bethlehem for midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve. You will find that most Christmas activities take part in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem and in other cities like Bethlehem or Nazareth.
Visiting Jerusalem during Christmas is also a great opportunity to visit other historic landmarks like the Via Dolorosa (better known as The Way of the Suffering), the Garden of Gethsemane, the Grotto of the Apostles and Mary’s Tomb. All of these historical landmarks are visited by Christians traveling to Jerusalem from every corner of the earth. Being the city of the world’s three leading religions, Jerusalem welcomes anyone with peace.
Israel is a modern Jewish country and religious expression is everywhere. There are many Christians who live in Jerusalem and celebrate Christmas as locals, giving extra flavor to those wishing to experience this special holiday in the Holy land. To the wise traveler wishing to spend their next holiday season in a monumental and spiritual city, Jerusalem is the place to choose. Don’t forget to book early and secure the services of a reliable and trustworthy tour guide!