Christmas trees and festive lighting will help Christian residents and tourists commemorate the holiday.
With dozens of churches scattered throughout the Christian Quarter of the Old City, around the Old City and in the neighborhood of Ein Karem, and being only six kilometers from Bethlehem, Jerusalem is a very special place for both Christian residents and tourists to celebrate Christmas.
According to the city of Jerusalem spokesperson, “as the home of the three Abrahamic traditions, Jerusalem is dear to over 3.5 billion people of varying faiths around the world. Our city is proud to be an open city, with freedom of religion for all residents.”
As in years past, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jewish National Fund will distribute free Christmas trees to Christian residents of Jerusalem on Sunday, December 22 at the College Des Freres – De La Salle High School. The Jerusalem Development Authority, in coordination with local residents and shop keepers, will also decorate the streets and hang festive lighting in the Christian Quarter of the Old City.
In addition to the Christian residents of Jerusalem, Israel is expecting 75,000 tourists for the December holiday. As reported by Breaking Israel News, Israel’s ministry of tourism has invested 86 million shekels ($24 million US dollars) over the past two years to maintain and improve the infrastructure of Christian holy sites. Tourism minister Uzi Landau plans to host pre-Christmas receptions for Church leaders in Jerusalem and Nazareth, as well as providing free shuttles between Jerusalem and Bethlehem on Christmas itself.