Christian Holy Week, April 1-7, 2012

Holy Week in IsraelOnce every year, the two great monotheistic faiths of Judaism and Christianity align. For Jews it’s Passover, for Christians, Easter.

As Jesus was a Jew, the famous Last Supper was actually his Passover meal. So therefore not too surprising that the Jewish Passover holiday corresponds with the Christian Easter, which commemorates the Resurrection following the Crucifixion.

This year, the Christian Holy Week celebrations start on April 1 with Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday thousands of Christian pilgrims climb Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives (read our full guide to the Mount of Olives here), in a re-enactment of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

The next important milestone in Holy Week is Good Friday (on April 6), which marks Jesus’ journey up to Golgotha to be crucified. The streets and alleys of the Old City in Jerusalem are likely to be crammed full, so get there early if you want to witness one of the most amazing sights in religion, with thousands of pilgrims following Jesus’ same path down the Via Dolorosa, many holding crosses in spiritual support of their Lord. For more info on Good Friday in the Old City, and some great videos, click here.

The next day is Holy Saturday (April 7), and thousands of Christian pilgrims typically gather in the Old City of Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (read our full guide to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre here). Here you can also witness the amazing annual miracle of the Holy Fire (read more here).

For full details of the official events of Holy Week, see the Christian Information Center website.

Here’s a great video looking at some of the pilgrims and Holy Week events in the Old City…

Of course, once Easter celebrations are over, there are still many amazing Christian sites to see in the Holy Land!

A very happy Holy Week – and Happy Easter – to all!

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