Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace, beautifully simplified

Featured image: The Church of the Nativity (photo credit: Neil Ward, from Creative Commons)

In Bethlehem, Israel, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, you won’t find glamorous Christmas decorations to celebrate the holiday. Instead, the remembrance is mostly a quiet affair, with prayers and mass.

Some visitors stop at the grotto at the Church of the Nativity to kneel and kiss the Star of Bethlehem, which marks the spot where Jesus was born.

Altar of the Nativity-Rossnixon (English Wikipedia author)The altar at the grotto in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where the Star of Bethlehem marks the spot where Jesus was born (photo credit: Rossnixon, an English Wikipedia author)

All in all, it’s a no-frills event, devoid of the excessive commercialism we see in our American culture. It’s simple, reverent, and reflective.

Noga Tarnopolsky, a freelance correspondence from Jerusalem, visited Bethlehem for Christmas and wrote a report about her experiences for the Los Angeles Times. Read Tarnopolsky’s story.

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