Visitors to the Holy Land before Christmas may want to attend the annual Christmas-tree lighting in Bethlehem in the middle of the month of December. Those in western Jerusalem can also enjoy festive Christmas decorations at the YMCA on King David Street.
There are an abundance of Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and surrounds, which are exciting to visit over the Christmas period. These include the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as well as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, 6 miles south of Jerusalem, which is particularly special on Christmas eve. Visitors to Bethlehem can experience the once in a lifetime annual Midnight Mass in the Basilica of the Nativity (tickets only) and at 1 p.m. the ceremonial welcoming of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
In the Old City there will be a liturgical concert at the Tower of David Museum and Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve around the Christ Church area at 18:00 and again at 19:30. Lovers of classical music can enjoy a performance at the Jerusalem Music Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim.
Those looking to avoid the frenetic crowds may enjoy exploring other Christian holy sites such as Mary’s Dormition Church on Mount Zion, the Tomb of the Virgin on the Mount of Olives and the Garden Tomb, popular with Protestants.0Need at least 3 ratings