5 Best Pilgrimage Sites To Visit This Christmas

Have you thought of going beyond your routine way of celebrating Christmas and doing something different? Has it ever crossed your mind to do something special this season? What do you think of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land?

Jerusalem is a place a lot of Christians dream to visit especially during key Christian feasts like Easter and Christmas. You get to visit historic places like Bethlehem where Christ was born, His hometown, Nazareth. Some use the opportunity to visit areas where Christ had his passion like the Via Dolorosa. It is a great way to bond with Christ this season, not to forget the fun part of it.

Here is a list of five sites where you’ll best enjoy your Christmas:

1. Manger Square, Bethlehem

There is no more grace-filling place to visit this Christmas than Manger Square, Christ’s birth place in Bethlehem. This exact spot where Mary birthed Jesusbis still maintained as a Christian historic site. The joy of having to feel and touch the exact area where Jesus was brought to the world is out of this world! About 1.4 million tourists visit Bethlehem every Christmas.

2. Nazareth, Jerusalem

This is the very town in which Jesus grew and spent much of His years on earth. A visit here would be the best way to connect with Christ. His home, now 2 000 years old, lies here. Here in Nazareth, Christmas is usually celebrated in a colourful way;

On the 24th of December, a parade is held from the Main street of Nazareth and ends in front of the Basilica of Annunciation. This parade usually involves thousands of participants. As though not fun enough, the parade is followed by a barrage of fireworks then Mass is celebrated at the Basilica. A Street Fair called “Christmas Market Street Fair” where various delicious meals and crafts are displayed by vendors also holds.

3. The River Jordan

Your pilgrimage would not be complete in without a visit to the Jordan river where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Many pilgrims take the opportunity to renew their baptismal vows by being emersed in the river, reciting their baptismal certificate vows. Intriguing!

4. Sightseeing Christmas trees in Jerusalem

While in other parts of the world, Christmas trees are glamorously decorated, it is a much incredible feeling here. In places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Tell Aviv, decorated Christmas trees are seen in the season.

5. Spiritual activities in Jerusalem

Asides the incredibly fun aspect of Christmas celebrations in Jerusalem, there is the spirit filling aspect where you get to attend midnight Masses, prayer services and well organized tours taking place in time intervals. This is the most grace-filling event you would engage yourself in on your visit to the Holy Land.

For many, a visit to the Holy Land would be a once in a lifetime experience but it definitely would be a memory that lasts for a lifetime. Add this to your to-do list for the coming Christmas season and you’ll be glad you did!

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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