Early in the morning on 24 December of every year, the people of Bethlehem city in the Holy Land wake up to the sound of the Scouts preparing to hit the streets to start the Christmas celebrations.
A large number of locals and foreigners gather at Manger Square to welcome the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, Mons. Pizzaballa and celebrate Christmas, and many others, who come from all around the world come to visit the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of our lord and savior Jesus Christ.
The Fourteen Pointed Star beneath altar in the Nativity Grotto, marks spot of the birthplace of Jesus Christ by the Blessed Virgin Mary
To everyone who is concerned about whether it's safe or not. Mons. Pizzaballa stated, “The pilgrimage to the Holy Land is safe and that the images and the news that you have seen on television do not tell the truth about the beauty, the tranquility and the serenity that, on the contrary, depicts Jerusalem. We therefore invite you to reconsider your pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to make this wonderful experience of faith [and to embrace] this important and marvelous form of solidarity with the Christian community of the Holy Land."
The Catholic Christmas Parade of 2017 in Bethlehem
Every year, there's a huge Christmas parade that includes different Scouts from all over the Holy Land, a group of Palestinian girls dressed in traditional Palestinian clothing, and many clowns and jugglers. Christmas in the Holy Land puts everyone in Palestine in a blissful and peaceful state. It brings faithful believers from all around the world together with the “Living Stones” of the Holy Land, and it is not exclusively celebrated by Christians; many local Muslims also participate in the festivities of Christmas every year.
Celebrations in the square: Christmas begins in Bethlehem
"Now is the time to rejoice. As Christians, we must rejoice, despite the hardships we face.” - Mons. Pizzaballa
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