While the Coronavirus pandemic put a damper on 2020 Christmas celebrations, traditional marching band parades rekindled this year’s Christmas spirit in Bethlehem, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Palestinian scout troops marched towards Manger Square banging drums and playing bagpipes and passing along the narrow cobble-stoned route, known as the Star Street, as they entertained local faithful who gathered at the square ahead of the expected arrival from of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Drone views show Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, waking up to a less festive and near-deserted Christmas pic.twitter.com/Yqo353NJSZ
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 24, 2021
Pierbattista Pizzaballa headed the annual procession from the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem to Manger Square, passing as usual through a massive metal gate in the towering Israeli concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem.
His Holiness the Latin Patriarch of #Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa greets a crowd as he arrives in the West Bank city of #Bethlehem to celebrate the traditional Midnight Mass #Catholic ✝️✝️✝️ click to continue (Amazing Photos) 👉 https://t.co/bOHKpHOrzl pic.twitter.com/FYZZz8ZSHD
— Nicola✝️🙏✝️Kanaan (@RosaryMysteries) December 25, 2018
He was welcomed at Manger Square by a host of officials and clergy ahead of the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where Christian tradition says Jesus Christ was incarnated.
— Nader Habash (@nader_habash) December 19, 2021
Palestinian Christians have been suffering as a result of Israel’s policies of land grab, growing settlement construction, movement restrictions and, for those living in Jerusalem, the revocation of residency identity cards.
(WAFA, PC, Social Media)