Christmas in Jerusalem is a truly unique time with thousands of pilgrims coming to the city to celebrate Christmas in the place where it all began (nearby in Bethlehem). The city, in particular the Old City’s Christian and Armenian quarters, become adorned with decorations, whilst other Jerusalem landmarks such as the YMCA, along with the city’s churches celebrate with services and carol concerts. Below are some of the best things to do in Jerusalem at Christmas.
Jerusalem Christmas Events
Preparing for Christmas in Jerusalem
Here are some of the highlights of Christmas in Jerusalem in 2014:
Jerusalem Christmas Tree
December 19 – The lighting of the Christmas tree at the New Gate of the Old City will take place on December 19 at 5pm
- Church of the Redeemer. Schubert Mass No 5 G Major, Dvorak. December 21 at 5pm
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (Franciscan Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament)
December 15-23, 2014 at 16.50 Christmas Novena (after the daily procession)
- Poontifical Institute, Notre Dam Center (New Gate, Tel. 02-6279111, Fax: 02-6271995)
December 24th, 2014 23:30 Carols and Christmas Midnight Mass (Multilingual)
December 25th, 2014: 10:00 Solemn High Mass (Multilingual), 18:30 Holy Mass (English)
Midnight Mass in Bethlehem
Midnight mass in Bethlehem is a unique experience. Either travel independently to the central square and watch on the big screen or join an organized tour. Entry to the church is difficult and usually pre-arranged by ballot.
December 24. Special Bethlehem tours including Midnight Mass in the square. More information and booking here.
Christmas in the Old City
In the Old City, head to the Via Dolorosa and watch pilgrims from around the world walk this famous route with the cross of Christ over their shoulders, made a little more special with the Christmas air.
Christmas Parties in Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s young, secular population are worldly and love to celebrate Christmas in their own way. Parties are likely to take place in some of the city’s more secular bars such as the Abraham Hostel Bar where the famous Christmas party returns this year.
December 25. Across Jerusalem. Abraham Hostel party is at 8pm at Haneviim 67. Entry is free.
Across the Christian centers in Israel, Christmas is celebrated. See separate articles about Christmas in Nazareth and Christmas in Israel.