Christians and Jews Celebrate Holidays Together in Holy Land

The Fellowship  |  December 19, 2022

Haifa decorated for the holidays
(Photo: Sapir Bronzberg/FLASH90)

With the holiday season here, people of faith — Christians and Jews, alike — are gathering the Holy Land to celebrate. Jeremiah Elfassy of i24News in Israel reports on the Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations in one Israeli city:

Like every year, Haifa, the “northern capital” of Israel, known for the cohabitation between its Jewish and Arab residents, celebrates in a unique atmosphere the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays during the Hag HaHagim festival (“The Holiday of the Holidays” in Hebrew), which takes place this year from December 8 to 25. 

Many attractions are offered to hundreds of thousands of visitors at different locations in the city in an atmosphere that mixes the scent of the east and the tradition of Santa Claus.

During walks in the market of the Arab quarter of Wadi Nisnas, where many churches are nestled, in the German Colony and along Ben Gurion Avenue which extends the famous Bahai Gardens, it is not uncommon to see groups of young Israeli Arabs dressed as Santa Claus and dancing in groups to eastern music with contagious joy. 

“For us, Christmas is a way to commune and celebrate with all the inhabitants of the city. Everyone is welcome here. That way, tourists can see how we Arabs know how to party,” explains Saber, a young man who works in the Wadi Nisnas market…