Christmas in Israel is an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. I guarantee it!!!

But, please don’t expect the typical symbolic displays of holiday celebration like Santa Claus and his reindeer along with endless strings of Christmas lights.

Not even Black Friday midnight sales or even crowded shopping malls with all of latest great once in a lifetime deals.. And definitely no white Christmas as the average temperature in most places this time of year is above 50 degrees.

No, Christmas in the holy land goes far deeper than that. I believe you will probably find Christmas inside of you, and may find it to be the most meaningful of all.

Many do and Here’s why..

Although Israel is host to over 2 Million Christian visitors a year, many of them Pilgrims, the actual number of Christians or Catholics living in Israel is less than 2% of the entire population. The Catholic, Protestant and Russian Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 but some of the  churches actually celebrate on the 6th and 18th of January; Three Christmases in all. 

So much historical significance as Israel is, of course, the land where the Christmas story took place.

Interested in a one day Holy Land Tour during Christmas….

Christmas in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights usually coincides with Christmas. Actually, this year (2014), it starts about a week before. This means that throughout the country you will observe the iconic symbols of the celebration of Hanukkah in addition to three Christmas celebrations. A festive atmosphere fills the air. 

Primarily In the Christian dominated towns and cities of Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Old City of Jerusalem, Jaffa, and certain parts of Haifa , you will find many fascinating things to see and do.

See my top tips and recommendations.

Interested in a one day Holy Land Tour during Christmas….

Christmas in Israel – My Top Recommendations for What to Do

  • Jerusalem – The tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as well as a walk down the Via Dolorosa, and Arab market in Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Bethlehem (only a few short miles from the Old City) is The Church of the Nativity and the legendary underground grotto where the 14-pointed star is located (believed to mark the exact location where Jesus was born), but there’s also the carol sing-a-long in Manger Square and a Midnight Mass at the next door Church of St. Catherine.
  • Nazareth – The annual Christmas Parade on Christmas Eve, which starts on Christmas Eve in the afternoon. There’s also a Midnight Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation, and don’t miss the Christmas market in Nazareth.
  • Haifa – Known as a multi-cultural city offers the authentic multicultural experience Hannukah, Eid-al-Adha, and Christmas in the Holiday of Holidays festival, which is held annually in Haifa’s Wadi Nas neighborhood. This celebration of Jewish, Muslim and Christian holidays highlights Haifa’s interfaith harmony and cooperation. These celebrations carry on through much of December.

Of course, like any holiday anywhere, there is the FOOD. During the holidays, a special local treat are these luscious holiday donuts called Sufkanyot. You can find them everywhere but my favorite place has to be the Mamilla outdoor mall just outside of the old City in Jerusalem.

The Mamilla mall is a very exclusive outdoor and indoor shopping plaza featuring all of the top name brands and designer everything. This is a Must Do on any visit to Israel but definitely during the Holiday season.


Israel Day Trips With A Private Guide

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More about Israel Day Trips from Israel Travel Secrets.

Happy Holidays (Chag Sameach)