Pre-Christmas in Nazareth

LANDSCAPE SEEN / Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Yes, I know Christmas is far gone, but I actually wrote this article a few days after the holidays long before this blog went alive and today I wanted to share with you this experience in Nazareth. This Christmas spent in the beautiful city of Nazareth was actually a pre-Christmas because I was there for 2 days before the actual Christmas Eve, but still, it really felt like it was already Christmas.

(You should definitely start counting how many times the word “Christmas” is going to appear in this article, it’s already a lot and I’m just beginning).

Nowadays, more and more people think that Christmas has become a commercial holiday, to a point that we don’t even see or feel the heart of this holiday no more, and that it all became about spending or getting money. Let’s not fake it, it is indeed, a commercial holy day, we are barely done with Christmas 2018 but I’m sure brands already have their 2019 holiday’s strategy prepped. Did I feel this commercial spirit in Nazareth? Yes, I did. Did it bother me? Not at all. Why? Because I also felt the point and the heart of this holy day.

From a general point of view, for me Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, doing something great for others (what we should usually do also the rest of the year for sure), having a good time while you’re hanging out outside, looking for the big Christmas tree, buying good food at the Christmas market, watching Christmas lights lightening the city, and just feeling there’s a good feeling in the atmosphere. From a religious point of view, Christmas is also about celebrating the birth of Jesus, who is at different levels, an important character in several religions. So yes, Christmas is a birthday, and what do you do for birthdays? YOU PARTY!

To celebrate Christmas in Nazareth, the city put in place a Christmas Market along the road leading to the Greek Orthodox church of the old city. In this market the food was Fiiire! You could smell the food all along the market between the crepes made with chocolate, the churros and other types of food. I actually had a blast eating a hot and warm potato coming right out of the oven containing fresh vegetables and melted cheese in it. As a french girl, let me tell you that  I miss the cheeeeeese, like the real cheese, you know the one that smells for real and you know it’s good even before you ate it? Like when you’re eating a raclette? Damn, I miss some French (and African) food.

Right at the entree of the church, there was a giant Christmas tree where everybody was taking a picture trying to get the best angle. Honestly, I have never seen a Christmas tree that was so beautiful, so big and so well decorated. This might have to be with the fact that I have never celebrated Christmas in another place than Paris, even though we have beautiful trees there too. In addition, a little singing show with Mickey and Minnie Mouse was taking place to amuse the children and also one real Santa hanging around with four fake Santas was there to amuse and sometimes frighten the crowd.

During those 2 days, I also had the chance to witness the Christmas parade, which happened at least 2 hours after it was planned to begin, talk about a long wait huh. In this parade, a lot of scouts group including children and teenagers marched to represent their association and movement, a lot of Christmases carts hanging on the back of the cars were also shown representing Santa, the holy family, princesses, followed then by cartoon characters, giant bears, etc … Some random people also marched, a lot actually, who were they? I don’t know, probably persons who helped organized the whole show or some heads of association. The global planning of this parade was not perfect but the heart and the intention were there and everybody seemed happy. 

And of course, to end this event on a beautiful note fireworks took place.

Basilica of Annunciation

In all this Christmas spirit, I surely did not forget to visit the old city of Nazareth the Basilica of Annunciation, Mary’s Well, the White Mosque were parts of my many stops. The convenient thing about this old city is that everything you’d want to visit is very close to one and other so it was simple to do so.

For summing up, it was amazing to celebrate Christmas in the city where Jesus grew up, believer or not, I’m sure that anyone who just enjoys positive vibes and good energy would have a blast celebrating Christmas in Nazareth. Before I forgot, let me tell you that I stayed in the SimSim GuestHouse it’s a great and cleaned place, very well situated in the old city and awesome for low budgets. The team is very nice they’ll help you with everything you want to know about the city.

So now you tell me, how many “Christmas” did you count?

Marianne. Brownie from West Africa, home based in Paris. Here to share her stories (and tips) about traveling, self love, life etc ...

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