The Christmas tree is lit in the city where Jesus was born | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The Christmas tree is lit in the city where Jesus was born

Saturday the 15th of December, in Bethlehem's Manger Square, on a cold and dark night, hundreds of people awaited the now traditional ceremony of the lighting of the Christmas tree.

A 15 meter fir tree, decorated with thousands of colored lights and at its feet a Christmas crib that will be completed on the night of the 24th by the statue of Baby Jesus.

The ceremony opens the beginning of the Christmas festivities in the city of baby Jesus.

Mrs. Vera Baboun, Bethlehem's newly elected mayor, expressed Christmas Greetings to the citizens, wishing, for all, moments of peace and serenity.

At 6:00 p.m., Salam Fayyadn, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, arrived in Manger Square.

H.B. Micheal Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus, in the presence of the Franciscan friars, blessed the tree. Soon after, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pressed the button that simultaneously lit the decorations of the tree and the lights that decorated the square and outer walls of the Basilica of the Nativity.

Bethlehem, in these days, is particularly at the centre of the entire world and Christian people's heart.

Bethlehem is the place to which many pilgrims from all the world are coming, notwithstanding the hard moments that were experienced in the Gaza Strip.

Among the many activities scheduled for the next days, we would like to point out the arrival of 1,500 pilgrims coming from Indonesia and the Philippines to participate at the Christmas festival on the 22nd of December.