You won’t find elaborate Christmas markets in Israel as you would across Europe during the Christmas season but Nazareth, where Israel’s largest Christian community resides, does celebrate the holiday in a big way. The streets are decorated with bright lights and tinsel. There are several scheduled events for December 2013 where locals and visitors can celebrate and get into the Christmas spirit.
Most of the Christmas events in Nazareth in 2013 will take place at Mary’s Well Square. The events were scheduled for December
11th to 24th but due to stormy weather forecasts the scheduled events of 11th to 15th have been postponed to the 16th to 21st December. For up-to-the-minute changes check-out the Nazareth Association for Culture and Tourism website.
On 24th December the annual Nazareth Christmas Parade will travel from Paul 6th Street (Paulus VI Street) to the Casa Nova Street and the Church of the Annunciation from 3pm to 5pm. Youth groups and local Christian leaders march in the parade together with Santas, elves and other Christmas characters dancing to Christmas music. Following the parade there will be a firework display and at around 7:30pm a mass will be held. The Christmas Eve festivities continue into the night with musical performances and entertainment at Mary’s Well Square.
The Nazareth Christmas Market (16th-21st December), like Christmas markets around the world, will sell Christmas decorations, traditional foods, gifts and tree ornaments. The market will run from Mary’s Well Square all the way to the Old City. During the market, which will be open from late morning until the evening, there will be entertainment for kids, street performers and other family activities. Santa will be on hand to grant the kid’s wishes! A large stage will be set up and there will be ongoing musical performances as well as Christmas carol singing.
The Christmas tree in Mary’s Well Square is the largest one in the country (26 meters high); it was erected on the 8th of December and will remain in the square until the end of the festive season.
On 25th December, Christmas Day, there will be Mass held in all the Nazareth Catholic Churches and services in all of Israel’s Christian churches. The first Mass is at 7am and a larger, celebratory Mass will be held at 10am in Nazareth churches.