Preparing for Christmas in Jerusalem
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, while 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.
Christmas in Jerusalem Events
Here are some of the highlights of Christmas in Jerusalem in 2016:
Jerusalem Christmas Tree
December 18 – The lighting of the Christmas tree at the New Gate of the Old City will take place on December 18th at 5pm.
Christmas at the ymca
- Christmas Tree Decorations at the YMCA on November 27 at 5pm
- Giant Christmas Bazar at the YMCA, from December 9 to December 11
- Christmas Carols Concert at the YMCA, hosting Prof. Gaby Shefler (performing Tower bells – carillon), the Oratorio Chamber Choir, the Bel Canto Choir, the Jerusalem Armenian Choir and the Jerusalem International YMCA Youth Choir. The event will feature a sing-alongwith the audience in familiar hymns of Christmas Eve. On December 24 at 8pm.
- Jerusalem Christmas Market 2016. The largest ever Christmas market in Jerusalem takes place at Collège de Frères,
New Gate, with musical performances, Christmas tree, girfts, Santa Claus and much more. From Dec 18 to 20, 11:00-22:00.
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (Franciscan Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament)
December 15-23, 2016 at 16.50 Christmas Novena (after the daily procession)
- Pontifical Institute, Notre Dame Center (New Gate, Tel. 02-6279111, Fax: 02-6271995)
December 24th, 2016 24:00 Carols and Christmas Midnight Mass (Multilingual)
December 25th, 2016: 10:00 Solemn High Mass (Multilingual), 18:30 Holy Mass (English)
Midnight Mass in Bethlehem
Bethlehem’s Festive Christmas Tree.
Midnight mass in Bethlehem is a unique experience. Our organized Christmas in Bethlehem tour is available every year from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Eilat, and includes all guiding, transport, and a special festive dinner. Entry to the church is difficult and usually pre-arranged by ballot. Spaces to the tour are limited so we recommend booking early.
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.
Across the Christian centers in Israel, Christmas is celebrated. See separate articles about Christmas in Nazareth, Christmas in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and Christmas in Israel.