Skip to main content

Pilgrims, tourists and local Christians gathered in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday to begin Christmas Eve celebrations.

1 of 9

Clergy gather in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity while Christians gather for Christmas celebrations in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 24, 2011. Thousands of Christian pilgrims descended on on the holy city to celebrate in Jesus' traditional birthplace.

Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images/Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

2 of 9

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal, arrives at the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 24, 2011. Bethlehem is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images/Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

3 of 9

A worshipper prays in the Church of Nativity, the site widely believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 24, 2011, as Christians gather for Christmas mass.

Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images/Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

4 of 9

A Palestinian wood carver works on a Christian religious figure, made out of olive wood, in a factory in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, ahead of Christmas December 23, 2011.

Ammar Awad/Reuters/Ammar Awad/Reuters

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 9

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal, arrives at the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 24, 2011. Bethlehem is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images/Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

6 of 9

A Christian pilgrim lines up to go inside the Grotto, at the Church of Nativity, believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011.

Bernat Armangue/AP/Bernat Armangue/AP

7 of 9

A Christian pilgrim from Nigeria dressed as Santa Claus visits the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 24, 2011. Christians began flocking to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas following a tumultuous year of political upheaval and change across the Arab world. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images/Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

8 of 9

Palestinian Scouts play the bagpipes outside the Church of the Nativity while Christians gather for Christmas celebrations in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 24, 2011, as thousands of Christian pilgrims descended on Bethlehem to celebrate in Jesus' traditional birthplace.

Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images/Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

9 of 9

A man dressed as Father Christmas drives past the Israeli built separation barrier as Christians arrive to celebrate Christmas mass in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 24, 2011.

Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images/Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.