The Christmas tree is up in Manger Square in Bethlehem, and the little town is getting ready for the big day. And everyone can join in with the Christmas tree lighting, live from outside the Church of the Nativity, as part of the Bethlehem Cultural Festival!
The festival sprang up last year in response to the lack of tourism during the pandemic. Its aim is to fundraise and shine a light on music and culture from Bethlehem. This year, the events include an olive oil tasting session with our co-founder Heather Masoud – and with every live ticket you receive a complimentary bottle of our olive oil.
As travel returns, if you get a opportunity to visit Bethlehem, we heartily recommend staying at the Hosh Al Syrian. Run by chef Fadi Kattan, who is also speaking at the Bethlehem Cultural Festival, it feels like a home away from home: comfortable, stylish, tranquil. Brimming with ambience and thoughtful details, it’s a wonderful base from which to explore Palestine.
Our friends at The Amos Trust are making tentative plans to re-start trips to Palestine, including the popular Taste of Palestine trip. It takes in the kitchens, restaurants, and markets of Jerusalem, Sebastia, Nazareth and Bethlehem, and you can sign up to register your interest.
Fair trade decorations
If you’d like to source festive decorations from Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans sell fair trade nativity scenes and tree decorations, many made from olive wood, and they ship worldwide. Closer to home, Hadeel offer a range of handicrafts from all over Palestine in their beautiful Edinburgh store and via their online shop.
Sunday Sessions in London
An exhibition called Stateless Heritage at the Mosaic Rooms, London, presents the nomination to register Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem as a World Heritage Site. The creator, Omar Hmidat, is hosting an informal gathering in the gallery every Sunday to bring people together as he did when he lived in Dheisheh camp.
Gifts from Palestine