Apart from the more obvious calling of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Christmas in Nazareth is another thing worth experiencing when you’re in Israel – add it to that Christmas bucket list!
There are plenty of Christmas festivities, concerts, programs, and events happening in Nazareth, including the now famous Nazareth Christmas Market, which usually runs in the week up to Christmas. If you’re on the lookout for Christmas goodies, and a bit of Christmas spirit, then this is the place to be.
If browsing (a very crowded) market isn’t your thing when visiting Nazareth at Christmas, you can always head out to the BIG shopping mall that’s at the entrance to Nazareth. There, you can get your fill of Christmas vibe, what with almost every shop in the mall decorated to the hilt with all the Christmas trinkets you can think of, with lots and lots of Christmas trees providing a pretty decent atmosphere – we were quietly impressed.
Nazareth is likewise known for the annual traditional lighting of the Christmas Tree on Paulo V1 Street, which is near the Church of the Annunciation. It’s typically scheduled for early December, but updates will be given here for changes or confirmation of an exact date. There is also a scheduled tree lighting at Mary’s Well, the big tree that you can spot in nearly every image related to Christmas in Nazareth!
One of the liveliest ways to enjoy Christmas in Nazareth is the rousing Christmas Parade on December 23rd, which starts at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Make sure to get there early to get the best “seats” as you await the great fireworks display that sets off at 5:30 PM – this parade gets very packed so seriously, get there early! On Christmas Eve, a Midnight Mass is held at the Church of the Annunciation, which commences at 7 PM.
Church services and masses are aplenty on Christmas Day itself. You can catch a mass either at the Church of the Annunciation, Church of St. Joseph, as well as in other Catholic churches throughout Nazareth.