Christmas in Jerusalem, 2021 (photos, videos)
With reduced pilgrim foot-traffic, Jerusalem was awash with locals partaking in the festive spirit
The holiday season here in Jerusalem was once again a subdued one, with Israel’s aggressive travel restrictions intended to mitigate the spread of the Omicron variant preventing the usual influx of pilgrims visiting the Holy Land around Christmas.
The restrictions had an unexpected effect: traditional Christmas venues like Nazareth — the Biblical town that is also known as the ‘Arab capital of Israel’ — were swarmed instead by Jewish Israelis, many of whom remarked positively on the experience.
In Jerusalem, the Municipality put on an open-air Christmas Market just inside the New Gate.
The streets were adorned with festive decorations and the area has recently been somewhat revitalized by the addition of several new nightlife venues.
For those looking for Christmas trees, some stellar examples could be found at the YMCA, the Notre Dame Pontifical Institute, and the Feel Beith coexistence center in Abu Tor (this is by no means an exhaustive list!).
The Notre Dame — a popular pilgrim hotel that has been under Vatican ownership since the 1970s — recently upgraded the menu at its Wine and Cheese Restaurant and has also opened access to its rooftop.
For 10 NIS patrons can experience a majestic view over the Old City of Jerusalem stretching eastwards towards Damascus Gate and the east of the city.
YMCA Christmas Decorations 2021
The Jerusalem YMCA was also well-decorated and busy as usual with a Christmas market and other activities.