Christmas in Israel is very different from the commercialized Western world. Christmas in the Holy Land is a spiritual experience for the many pilgrim Christians who travel over the holiday, after all the Holy Land is the birth place of Jesus.
It is important to consider that Israel is a Jewish state and there are no more then 150,000 resident Christians in a population of 7 million, so for much of Israelis Christmas is just another a regular working day. If you are visiting Israel for Christmas, the most popular destination to celebrate the birth of Jesus is in the town of Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, located in the West Bank.
Bethlehem The Best Place to Spend Christmas in the Holy Land
Bethlehem hosts several magnificent services on Christmas Eve taking place on Manger Square. The home town of Jesus, Nazareth is also an interesting option to visit on Christmas Eve with many festivities taking place. However the most popular option is Bethlehem, and the best way to visit Bethlehem on Christmas Eve is joining a special Christmas in Israel tour. you can go at it on your own of course, but it’s so much easier this way since you won’t have to navigate the checkpoints and local traffic.
Christmas Holy Land tours depart from hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and guide you to Mount Scopus for a stunning view of Jerusalem. After you’ll walk the Old City of Jerusalem, and then depart to Bethlehem where you’ll tour Shepherds’ field, walk in the beautifully illuminated Manger’s square and see the Church of Nativity. Continue to a festive dinner at a local restaurant nearby, and after celebrate midnight Christmas Eve Mass in Manger’s square for a spiritual finally.