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Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

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New York City, New...
posts: 2
Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

I am planning to spend this Christmas holiday in Bethlehem and I will be there, in a hotel, on Christmas day. Is there anything to do on Christmas day and will anything be open? I will be traveling with a 13-year-old and another adult. Any advice and/or information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you much.

T. from NYC

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,742
reviews: 36
1. Re: Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

have you tried to do your own research? gone to the Bethlehem website? i am guessing they make a big deal and want everyone to know all the goings on

Emmaus, Pennsylvania
posts: 907
reviews: 138
2. Re: Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

Here's last year's schedule:

bethlehempaonline.com/christmas_events.html

The visitor's center is closed on Christmas Eve & Christmas. We are always out of town the actual holiday, so I've never been downtown. I would go out on a limb, however, and say that the holiday itself may be a little quiet (church services, restaurants inside hotels, etc). The season around it is crazy busy and full of activity.

Amman, Jordan
posts: 1
3. Re: Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

Christmas in Bethlehem is mostly on Christmas EVE, that is to say, December 24th. It starts early, so get out early. The day is long, and begins with scouts, drums and bagpipes, early in the morning hours. The long await is for - no, not Santa - but for the Latin Patriarch's arrival into Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, which heralds the start of the Christmas Season. The scouts are colorful and are young men and women from scout troops all over the West Bank (Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims).

You'll need a ticket for the (Catholic) Midnight Mass, and it's standing room only, and really not worth the hassle. Go to the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church at 5 p.m. for a nice service in English, Arabic and German.

There is a living, breathing Palestinian Christian community in Bethlehem. Get to know them!

I hear rumors that there may even be a 10 p.m. service at the Lutheran Church, just a short distance up the street, and opposite to Manger Square, for expats. And for those who won't be able to squeeze into St. Catherine's for the Midnight Mass. And even a Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m., also at Christmas Lutheran Church. See http://www.bethlehemchristmaslutheran.org/

Good luck and enjoy!!!

And if you miss December 24/25 in Bethlehem, you can also celebrate Christmas again, twice! January 6/7 will be Orthodox Christmas celebrations and January 18/19 will be Armenian Christmas!

New York City, New...
posts: 2
4. Re: Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

Decided to go to DC instead but thank you for the information. Much appreciated.

5. Re: Christmas Day (2012) in Bethlehem

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