As Christmas approaches, the streets of Palestine are filled with the sounds of carolers singing traditional Arabic Christmas songs, the smell of delicious Arabic dishes cooking in kitchens, and the sight of festive decorations adorning homes and businesses.
On Christmas Eve, families gather together to prepare for the celebration the next day. One of the favorite dishes that is often cooked is maqluba, a traditional Palestinian dish consisting of rice, meat, and vegetables cooked together and then flipped upside down to serve. Other popular dishes include hummus, falafel, and shakshuka. As the evening progresses, children excitedly wait for Santa Claus, known in Arabic as Baba Noel, to arrive and deliver gifts. In Palestine, Santa is often depicted wearing traditional Palestinian clothing and carrying a bag filled with sweets and small gifts.
On Christmas Day, families and friends gather to attend church services and celebrate with a feast. Many Palestinian Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but there are also smaller communities of Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and other denominations. One interesting fact about Christians in Palestine is that they make up a significant minority of the population. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Christians make up approximately 2% of the population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite their minority status, Christians in Palestine have a long and rich history dating back to the earliest days of Christianity.
After church services and the Christmas feast, many families spend the day visiting with loved ones, exchanging gifts, and enjoying the holiday atmosphere. In larger cities, there are often public celebrations and events, such as parades and festive markets selling traditional Palestinian crafts and gifts. In addition to celebrating the birth of Jesus, Christmas in Palestine also serves as a time for people of all faiths to come together and celebrate the holiday season. It is a time of unity and joy, and a reminder of the importance of coming together as a community.
As the day comes to a close and the celebrations wind down, families and friends gather once again to reflect on the blessings of the year and look forward to the new year to come. In conclusion, Christmas in Palestine is a time of joy and celebration, filled with delicious Arabic dishes, festive decorations, and the warmth of loved ones coming together. It is a time for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also a time for people of all faiths to come together and enjoy the holiday season.
Let’s Take You To Palestine, Shall We!
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- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (https://pcbs.gov.ps/)
- Maqluba recipe (https://www.thespruceeats.com/maqluba-recipe-2355498)