Calendar of Events
Palestine boasts an exciting year-round calendar of unique local events and celebrations, ensuring visitors the opportunity to enjoy nature-based festivals, enriching cultural experiences, deep-rooted religious celebrations or fabulous markets.
Whether it is January or July, the cultural calendar in Palestine is always a busy one. Here is a selection of some of the more prominent events in 2012:
Christmas and New Year Celebrations of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches (6 – 21 Jan.) Greeks, Armenians, Syriacs, Copts and Ethiopian celebrate the season to the Epiphany.
The Feast of St Theodosius (11 Jan.) Location: Obeydiyeh, Bethlehem
The Jericho Winter Festival
A multi-venue multi-activity outdoor festival organized by the Jericho Municipality.
Spring Festival Location: Across Palestine
Easter Celebrations: Easter Traditions from all over the World – Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians, Evangelicals, Syriacs, Copts and Ethiopians Christians of the Holy Land celebrate Easter.
Artas Lettuce Festival Location: Artas, Bethlehem
Nabi Moussa Festival (15-30 Apr.)
A popular festival celebrated by Muslims in Palestine at Nabi Moussa (The Prophet Moses) site near Jericho.
Nabi Saleh (Prophet Saleh) Festival (1 – 7 May) Location: Nabi Saleh, Ramallah
A popular Muslim feast celebrated at the site of the Nabi Saleh village near the city of Ramallah.
St. George’s Feast – Al Khader Village (5-6 May) Location: Al Khader, Bethlehem
Apricot Season Festival – Jifna (1 – 15 May) Location: Jifna, Ramallah
A popular festival celebrating the apricot season.
Jifna village club.
Procession of the Virgin Mary (14 May 15:00) Location: Beit Jala, Bethlehem
Procession from Beit-Jala to Cremisan Monastery, religious service, popular festival and picnic on the convent grounds with music and wine from the monastery cellars.
The Eucharist Feast (26 May) Location: Bethlehem
Heritage Day (1 Jun.)
Heritage Day is an annual event celebrated in all parts of Palestine. It is celebrated on the first of June every year. All the activities of Heritage Day aim to preserve the traditions of the forefathers. Traditional embroidery, olive wood and mother-of-pearl articles, pottery and local traditional foods are put on display. Several Palestinian folklore groups present traditional dances and songs. There are poetry recitals, too.
Faqous Festival (Egyption Cucumber) Location: Beit Sahour
The Apricots Festival – Beit Jala
This festival is held during the month of June in the town of Beit Jala, famous for its apricots. The apricot is called mistkawi in Arabic because of its special fragrance and its luscious taste.
Hortus Conclusus Feast (The Sealed Gardens) – (26 Jun.) Location: Artas, Bethlehem
Pontifical Mass at the Ascension, Mount of Olives.
Pentecost, “Welt Kirchentag”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem hosts the international Lutheran community.
Birzeit Heritage Week Location: Birzeit, Ramallah
Sabastiya Festival For Heritage and Tourism Location: Sabastiya, Nablus
Saffa Arts & Culture Festival Location: Saffa Village, West Ramallah
St. Elijah’s (Mar Elias) Feast (2 Aug.) Location: Jerusalem – Bethlehem Road
The National Festival of the South – Halhoul
A local popular festival organized in the village of Halhoul, Hebron District
Marj Ibin Amer Festival – Jenin (5 – 10 Aug)
A local dance and music festival organized in Jenin by the Jenin Governorate
Shopping Festival Month in Hebron
Organized by the Hebron Governorate, three weeks of shopping extravaganza.
The Annual Grape Festival Period: September – December, Location: Hebron District
Taybeh Oktoberfest Location: Taybeh Village, Ramallah
The Taybeh Oktoberfest is two days filled with Palestinian music, culture, and of course, beer. This festival is an annual tradition that brings together thousands of visitors.
Olive Harvest Festival Location: Bethlehem, Ramallah
Hebron Festival “Heritage & Tourism” Location: Old City, Hebron
The Festival of the Aubergines Location: Battir Village, Bethlehem
Riwaq’s Biennale Location: The West Bank
Maftoul Festival (Couscous Festival) Location: Old City of Birzeit
Christmas Market – Opening of the Bethlehem Arts and Crafts Fair (Christmas Market) featuring arts and crafts from all over Palestine. Manger Square
St. Sabas Feast – (18 Dec.) Location: Jerusalem Wilderness, Bethlehem
St. Nicholas’ Popular Festival – ( 17 – 19 Dec.) Location: Beit Jala, Bethlehem
On December every year, the municipality of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, prepares the city for the most important celebration. Christmas lights and banners are hoisted all around the city. Christmas carols can be heard everywhere in the crowded Manger Square.
The Feast of the Shepherds Location: Beit Sahour, Bethlehem
Shepherds Night Festival Location: Beit Sahour, Bethlehem
New Year’s Eve Celebrations (31 Dec.)