Christmas in Nazareth
Nazareth is an ancient city in the Northern District of Israel and is the biggest Arabic city in the country. It is considered to be an economical, political, communicative and cultural center among the Israeli Arabs.
According to the New Testament, Jesus' mother Maria and her husband Josef lived in Nazareth, in which the Annunciation was given and in which Jesus was brought and raised. For this reason, there are a few places there that are considered holy to Christianity, and mostly with the annunciation.
Nazareth is often visited by pilgrims and popes. 3 popes have already been there - Paulus VI, John Paul II and Benedictus XVI, who made a big mass there and even visited the Basilica of Annunciation.
Nazareth is considered to be an important cultural place to Israeli Arabs. In the city's North lies the "House of the Culture and Arts", in which there are different exhibitions shown and all sorts of cultural activities are held.
Every year just before December the city's residents prepare for Christmas. The city is decorated with shining lights that are hung from balconies and electric poles and with big trees with beautiful decorations and the atmosphere can not be more festive. One of the events one must be at when coming to celebrate Christmas in Nazareth is the Christmas Festival, during which the biggest Christmas tree in the Middle East was lit in 2012, at 26 meters long. This festival is the biggest and most popular event in Nazareth's modern history. Many tourists from all over the world come and enjoy this festival's amazing headline attractions that include top bands and singers. In the festival one can also find children's shows and workshops as well as clowns and street performers.
Every December 24th the Christmas Parade also takes place and draws tourists from all over the world. Many marchers participate in this lovely parade and march to the Christmas music. In addition, many Santa Clause figures march and distribute candies and sweets to children. The parade passes through the main street of Nazareth, Paulus VI street, and ends in Casa Nova Street with a brief ceremony and fireworks.
Among all the Christmas events in Nazareth, one can also enjoy the colorful Christmas Market, in which Christmas decorations and presents are sold. The lighted, decorated stands are open from the afternoon until late evening .They are located in the middle of Ma'ayan square, in which the big Christmas tree stands, and continues on to the close-by streets all the way to the Old City. The market also includes various artistic Christmas shows for children and adults. This unique market is visited by thousands of visitors from all over the world each year, and is bringing together different religions and cultures in one place to celebrate their love for Christmas and the city of Nazareth.
If you are planning to stay a little longer in the city, you will be able to enjoy the New Year's Eve celebrations in the lovely Nazareth that will take place on December 31st. The New Year's celebrations include an outstanding fireworks display, which you won't want to miss. To complete the celebrations, the partygoers will also be able to enjoy drinking bottles of Champaign and listening to the church's' bells ring.
Rimonim Nazareth Ma'ayan Hotel
A short walk from the Church of Annunciation, between a web of market allies, stands the Rimonim Nazareth Ha'Maayan Hotel, sometimes refers to as "Mary's Well Hotel". The hotel proudly abides to an "East meets West" mentality, combining the best of Western indulgences with the delights of Eastern authenticity and hospitality.
The 226 guest rooms include Standard and Family rooms, as well as spacious suites, all well equipped to make the most of the guests' memorable stay.
The hotel guests will also be able to enjoy the rich dinning room that offers breakfast and dinner meals and also a lobby bar that serves drinks and refreshments. The hotel does not have a Kashrut certificate but serves kosher meals. In addition, the hotel offers free parking to the hotel guests, room service and laundry service.