Eastern Christmas gets underway in Bethlehem

Posted On January 7, 2007

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Eastern Christmas Celebration gets underway in Bethlehem, as parades arrive at the Church of the Nativity

Bethlehem Christmas Celebrations

Bethlehem > Christian sects who follow the eastern calendar have, on Saturday, began celebrating Christmas in rainy weather, which is providing much-needed relief for the scorched earth of Palestine’s farmland.

In the morning, the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox church in Palestine and Jordan, Marseorios Malky Murad, arrived at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Following him was the parade of Dr Abraham, the Patriarch of the Qubti sect in Jerusalem. Both Patriarchs were accompanied by knights and scouts, who marched between the crowds on both sides on the road to the churchyard.

The parades were received by the mayors of the cities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, Dr Victor Batarsa, Raji Zeidan and Hani Al-Hayik, in addition to the governor of Bethlehem, Salah Al-Ta’amari, the director of the police department and other clergy and civic dignitaries.

More Patriarchs are expected to arrive to the church of the Nativity as representatives of eastern Christian churches.

Note > Not all Christians, and particularly those of the Middle East follow the Vatican calendar. The Orthodox Christians follow a calendar that is two weeks later than that of the Vatican. For these Christians, Christmas Day falls on January 7. A traditional Orthodox Christmas greeting is “Christ is Born!” The response is “(All) praise to him”.