As the pandemic rages on, foreign tourists haven't been able to travel to places like Nazareth, and experience a true authentic Christmas—a place connected to bible passages and stories from the New Testament. Instead, Israel Sites and Sights travelled to Nazareth on Christmas Day to bring the magic to you.
Location of Nazareth
Location of Nazareth
(Google Earth Screen Recording) *Best viewed from a mobile phone.
Nazareth, located in the Lower Galilee, in Israel's north, has a population of over 75,000 with approximately 70% Muslims and 30% Christians.
Known as the place where Jesus grew up, he has often been referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth," though he was born in Bethlehem.
Although most of the churches were closed to visitors during our visit, Nazareth was still buzzing with holiday cheer, as bright colors and lights illuminated the town. The massive Christmas tree was one of the main focal points of the town, with crowds gathering around the tree and the Christmas display to take photos and videos. To see one of the livestreams from that very spot, click here to transport yourself to that exact location.
The Nazareth Christmas market, integrated into part of the city's regular market, was bustling with local tourists. It was part of the festive experience that many locals normally travel to Europe to enjoy—some holiday cheer abroad. In light of the current travel restrictions from the newest wave of the pandemic, instead they flocked to one of the top Christmas destinations in Israel.
Christmas Market (Photo: Janis Raisen / Israel Sites and Sights)
Video from the Christmas market.
As the sun began to set, people wandered around between the market and the Christmas display, along a quaint street lined with stunning decorations.
Video of the street that runs between the market and the main Christmas display.
The Market at Night
The main market was transformed into a lively festive Christmas venue—Middle Eastern style. The song, Jingle Bells—in Arabic—could be heard at full volume.
Sound of "Jingle Bells" in Arabic heard in the Nazareth market on Christmas.
Christmas Tree at Night
This was the area where people gathered to take photos, since the Christmas tree and the main display provided a beautiful backdrop.
Video of the main Christmas display.
Panoramic view of the tree and main display. (Photo: Janis Raisen / Israel Sites and Sights)
Another video of the sparkling Christmas tree at night.
Visitors also filled the city's restaurants and bakeries, with many on the hunt for the popular Arabic pastry, knafeh, which locals say is the best in Nazareth!