Different shades of Christmas celebrations across the Arab world

Most countries in the world celebrate the Christmas and the New Year’s Eve in the last week of December, starting from the night of December 24 until the end of the year.

The celebrations may look similar but each country has its own customs and traditions that sometimes differ from a neighboring country.


Celebrations in Palestine have great value as Christ was born in Bethlehem, which lies 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem.

The celebrations begin with the parade of scouts getting out from the Old City of Jerusalem, heading toward the Church of Nativity Square.

Here clerics, worshipers and bystanders gather and place a giant tree. Visitors gather at the narrow stone entrance of the church to see where Christ is born.


Iraq has different Christian monuments.

In Nineveh plains village, on December 24, Christians light the Christmas flame in one of the squares. This symbolizes the fire that the shepherds light up while waiting for Christ to be born in (al-Araa); means the weather, which is a Syriac word meaning dazzle or surprise.


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