Christmas in the Holy Land: Haifa Events

Liturgical music and surprises from Santa are just some of what you can expect in Haifa.

Christmas is just days away, and if you happen to be in the Holy Land around this festive time, there are plenty of events, tours and fairs to take part in. Previous tourist tips covered some of the more interesting events in Nazareth and Jerusalem. Today we turn our attention to Haifa, where you can visit Santa or tune into some chamber music.

Religious hymns

The St. Elias church at 23 Ein Dor Street is hosting several concerts for the holiday season: These include liturgical and chamber music under the artistic direction of Prof. Amos Lanir, and will feature the Christmas Oratorio by Bach, performed by a chamber orchestra, soloists and a new vocal ensemble directed by Yuval Ben Ozer; Stabat Mater, a Catholic hymn describing the agony of Mary at Jesus's crucifixion. The Ensemble Barrocade will play Mendelssohn (“Hear my Prayer”), Haydn and Mozart’s symphony No. 29.

When: December 20, 21

Cost: NIS 115; for information, call 04-8523012

Santa Claus’s house

Sure, Santa usually comes to you - generally unannounced. But if you want to visit him, try the house on 6 Hadad Street in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood. It is decorated with trees and other holiday paraphernalia, and Christmas music plays in the background. Children who come to visit are promised a surprise from Santa.

When: December 21 and 28, 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.

Cost: Free

Joint Jewish-Arab exhibition

The Museum Without Walls, also in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood, serves as an open space for art shows, and is one of the first venues to showcase joint exhibitions by Arab and Jewish artists. There are currently 60 permanent exhibits, and more than 800 works have been displayed here so far, by some 500 artists. Over Christmas the site hosts a photography exhibition, featuring pictures taken by artists who have been with the project since its inception, such as Wael Awad, Jasmine Khujeirat, Miki Kratzman and Eldad Refaeli.

When: December 20, 21

Cost: Free; for information, call 04-8525252

Moran Maayan / Jini