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25 01 2013
Armenians in Israel celebrated Christmas in Bethlehem on January 18

Betlehem
 
Bethlehem Central Square (Palestin)


Traditionally, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrates Christmas according to the old calendar, i.e. on January 18. Ceremonies certainly take place also in Jerusalem but the main religious events are carried out in Bethlehem city of Palestine. Every year the Patriarchate provides free buses to the Armenian believers to get to Bethlehem from various regions of the country.
  
Bethlehem
 
Armenian scouts accompany the Patriarchate procession towards Christmas temple 


Armenians wait for the arrival of the Patriarchate procession, being welcomed by the Armenian scouts.

Both Israeli and Palestinian police are taking security measures, though there was never need for it.


Bethlehem
 


Bethlehem square full of Armenians and Arab policemen

This year the Armenian procession was leaded by the Vicar General Aris Archbishop Shirvanian, who was welcomed not only by Armenian scouts but also by the high governmental officials of Palestine and the mayor of Bethlehem. Traditionally, reception is taking place at the hall of the monastery, when Arab officials and wish Merry Christmas to the Armenians.

After a short 30 minutes break the main religious ceremonies start and at midnight the number of Armenians in the Monastery of Christmas is being doubled.

 

Bethlehem

 Armenian believers in the Monastery of Christmas

Ceremonies go on the whole night in the monastery of Christmas and in the morning Armenian priests depart to Jerusalem with the believers.

We express gratitude to the member of the Composers Union of Armenia and Armenians in Israel Mr. Noubar Aslanian for providing photos.
 
 “Nairi” – Union of Armenians in Israel in Petah Tiqwa
  

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