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Christmas in Betlehem

Christmas in Betlehem In a city believed to be the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, Bethlehem celebrates their Christmas season by grandiose processions and gathering in their city covered by bright and multi-colored Christmas lights at night.

Right before the Christmas Eve, natives and visitors alike gather and wait in church’s doorway to watch the yearly procession which highlights the birth of Jesus Christ. Horsemen and police were mounted on Arabian horses to make the parade more spectacular, with a marching band alongside.

The parade will pass through the plaza outside the Basilica of the Nativity, widely known as the Manger Square. Policemen lead the parade to clear the road followed by lone horsemen carrying a cross. Government officials along with the churchmen will then follow the march. When they reach the church, the procession will solemly place an ancient statue of the Holy Child, symbolizing the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christian homes in Bethlehem are marked by a cross over the door and a manger scene inside. A star is also set-up in a pole at the heart of the village.

In Bethlehem, shopping becomes a major activity, especially during the Yuletide season. The streets of the city, including the old markets, will be lined with stalls selling handicrafts, Middle Eastern spices, oriental sweets and jewelry. The markets, as well as hotels, are flooded by thousands of tourists every year for the season’s celebration.

Processions and shopping may be extravagant in Bethlehem during the Christmas season yet Christian worshippers do not fail to wait and enter the Church of Nativity to say their prayers. This only proves that, amidst warring nations and widening poverty, prayer still remains as the most powerful weapon.

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