Festivals in Palestine

Festivals in Palestine

Festivals

Palestine do not only include sites to be visited, there are many festivals that are taking place on weakly basis, musical and cultural festivals.

 

Olive Oil Festival

Every year in October, Manger Square comes to life with the sounds, sights and tastes of traditional Bethlehem, locals and visitors come together to celebrate the long tradition of olive harvest. From musical performances by local groups to traditional dances by the Artas Falklore Group, exhibiting booths line Manger Square featuring traditional Palestinian handicrafts, Olive Oil, Olive Oils Soups and the famous Cremisan wine.

 

Taybeh Oktoberfest – annual village festival

It is a two day celebration for Taybe Beer held in Taybeh, Ramallah, usually happens on the first Saturday and Sunday of October (excluding religious holidays ), and gives venue to local music groups to celebrate their talent and skills in promoting a different face of Palestine.

 

 

Theatre of the Oppressed

The Theatre of the Oppressed is now in its fourth year. The event features performances by local and international groups and is attended by people from around the world. The three-month “season” of theatre dazzles performance art lovers with dozens of extremely varied and unique performances from Ashtar and its international partners. While the Theatre of the Oppressed concept was born on the other side of the ocean and is currently all over the world, the unique experiences and talents of Palestinian artists, combined with the context of the occupation, make the Palestinian version stand out from the rest.

 

Artas Lettuce Festival

Since its debut back in 1994, the annual lettuce festival which takes a place in the beautiful village of Artas just south of Bethlehem near Solomon’s Pool brings locals and visitors together in a joyful festival celebrating and honoring the eternal Palestine peasant. Organized by the Artas Folklore Center is truly an experience as you get the chance to interact with the living stones of this ancient land and experience the hospitality and culture of Palestinian in real life.

 

PalFest (Palestine Festival of Literature)

This is an annual event that aims to bring a cultural festival of international standard to audiences in Palestine to assert “the power of culture over the culture of power.” The festival traveled through many cities in the west bank such as, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin.

 

Bethlehem live festival

Bethlehem live festival is held by the holy land trust for a four days in a row in June. The purpose of the festival is to revive star street. Traditional stores and restaurants are opened during the festival in star street with bands coming from all over the world to sing enjoy summer nights.

 

 

 

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Day Tours in Palestine

Here in the Holy Land on other business? Coming from Israel’s ports, Jordan or the Sinai for an extension, or have a day on your independent travel program that you want to fill with something special?   Let Laila Tours organize a day tour for you!

Our day tours are designed for individuals, families and independent tour groups that are looking for quality personalized tours that will provide needed services at rates not available through independent bookings.

The Holy Land has much more to offer than the standard itinerary list of churches and historical sites. However, knowing how to get to these locations without a personal vehicle can be a difficult and expensive challenge.   Laila Tours and Travel is able to provide the necessary arrangements, adding our own special expertise in how to make your time in Palestine special.

All day tours are by request only; our programs include transportation and pre-arranged lunches, with guided and self-guided tours structured at different prices. Prices vary depending on number of participants, starting and ending points, agreed-upon itineraries. All programs include a complimentary copy of our Visit Bethlehem poster.

 

Jerusalem

Our Jerusalem tours include programs designed for the Old City along with West and East Jerusalem . In our Old City walking tour, visit the four quarters of the Old City, including the Holy Sepulchre, the Via Dolorosa, and the Dome of the Rock, led by a local Jerusalem guide. Extensions can include a ramparts walk along the Old City walls and a tour of David’s Tower with the option of booking the evening light show. Our extended Jerusalem tour includes visits to Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb and Mount Scopus. Archaeological and historical tours will include visits to the Rockefeller Museum, the Israeli National Museum and the Bible Lands Museum. Optional customized religious tours can be designed for different denominations and faith interests, including Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Non-denominational.

 

Bethlehem

There’s so much more to see in Bethlehem!   Besides a visit to Nativity Church, the Milk Grotto, and Shepherd’s Field, our program is designed to allow participants to get a better understanding of the “Little Town of Bethlehem” and its surroundings. Our tour includes visits to Herodium, Solomon’s Pools, Artas, Beit Jala and Beit Shour. Cultural, ecological, and current event elements can be added into the program based on interests.

 

Jericho and the Dead Sea

With the dual claim to being both the world’s oldest city and the city having the lowest elevation on Earth, Jericho has a unique claim to history. Visitors will visit both the Biblical ruins of Jericho and the modern city, having a chance to experience the many cultural, religious and historical sites in and around it, including the Baptismal Site, Qumran, the Tree of Zaccheus, the Russian Museum, Hisham’s Palace, Tell Es-Sultan, and the Mount of Temptation. An afternoon visit to the Dead Sea is one of our most popular programs, as visitors experience floating in the world’s most salinated body of water. Extensions to Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and Masada are also possible.

 

Hebron

The city of Abraham, visitors have an opportunity to visit the Mosque of Abraham, the final resting place of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob along with the Matriarchs Rebecca and Sarah. A tour through the Old City souq and surrounding handicraft factories offers some of the best opportunities to purchase handmade glass, ceramic and embroidered items, as well as sampling some of the local cuisine. Please note: Hebron is considered a high-intensity conflict zone due to the presence of an aggressive settler colony within the Old City. Programs may be cancelled or altered if violence occurs.

 

Nablus-Sebastia

From its origins as the Roman colony of Neapolis to its modern existence as a commercial hub, the city of Nablus is considered a living history of the different eras of history in Palestine. Our tour will include visits to the ruins of Biblical Shechem, Jacob’s Well, Mount Gerazim, the Old City market of Nablus, and the archaeological park of neighboring Sebastia. Visits to the Christian community of Rafidia and the Samaritan Museum, where a priest of the surviving Samaritans acts as curator, are also possible, as are extensions to the historic Church of the 10 Lepers of Burqin.

 

Ramallah-Taybeh

To the north of Jerusalem and south of Nablus lies Ramallah district, the meeting point of the Judean and Samarian Hills, the coastal plain and the Jordan Valley. Ramallah, once little more than a sleepy Christian village best known for its missionary schools, is now the functioning capital of the Palestinian authority.   Visitors interested in learning about the development of the Palestinian state can visit the Tomb of Arafat, meet with local non-governmental organizations and civil society leaders, and experience some of the urban coffee-shop culture. From Ramallah, tours to Taybeh, the last entirely Christian village of Palestine, will include a stop at the Taybeh Beer Factor, and Aboud, a peaceful Palestinian farming village with a heavy concentration of Roman and Byzantine ruins, is possible.

 

Ecological and Hiking Programs in Bethlehem

Bethlehem’s ecological landscape includes a surprising number of watercourses and valleys, making a unique micro-climate that borders the Judean Desert and the beginning of the coastal plain. Nature and hiking enthusiasts can now take part in a half-day or daylong tour of west Bethlehem’s natural beauty. All programs begin with the village of Battir, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate that still uses a Roman system of irrigated terrace farming. From there participants can journey on a set of trails with a local guide, with walks ranging from two hours to a half-day excursion.

 

Ecological and Hiking Programs in the Jordan Valley

The Jordan Valley of the West bank, best known as the place of solitude for Christ, John the Baptist and the Prophet Elijah, is a region of extreme contrasts; barren valleys and oasis of lush vegetation, the lifeless Dead Sea and running fresh water. While many tourists and pilgrims drive through this region en route to Jericho, Masada, Jerusalem or the Galilee, very few experience it.   Learn more about:

 

  1. Judean Desert Monastery Tours
    The Judean Desert in the Jordan Valley is home to one of the richest monastic traditions in the world, nurtured and flourishing during the golden age of Byzantium, surviving its collapse and the subsequent eras of Islamic, Crusader and Ottoman rule. Today, this monastic tradition continues much as it has in ages past. Our day program can include visits to Mar Saba, Mar Theodosios, Saint Gerasimos, Saint George of Koziba and the Mount of Temptation, with an optional add-in to visit Herodium and/or Masada, which in later years were also places of desert monasticism. Learn more about this important part of faith in the Holy Land through this unique and inspiring program! Please note: Mar Saba monastery does not allow for inside access to women, and the accessibility of Mount of Temptation is determined on a daily basis. This program is not available on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  2. “Living Stones of Bethlehem” Tours
    The Palestinian Christian community has been in existence in the Holy Land almost since the birth of the Christian faith. A small but important segment of the Palestinian people, their role as the “living stones” of the Holy Land can now be better understood through our tour that will take participants beyond the places of pilgrimage. This program includes visits to the Christian communities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour to visit parish churches and schools, Christian charitable projects and local civic leaders who will help explain the role of the Christians in the Holy Land and challenges to maintaining their presence in the Holy Land. A mirrored program for the upper West Bank will include visits to Taybeh, Aboud and Nablus.

 

Check Our Tours page and keep in mind that all our tours are customised. For any inquiries do not hesitate to contact us.

Cultural, Historical and Current Events Tours

Our cultural and historical tours are designed to cater to different interests of different groups and individuals who are drawn to the Holy Land.   Our archaeological and historical programs can focus on different eras of history, from early civilization and Biblical times up until the modern era. Cultural tours focusing on Palestinian heritage and culture are also available, as are current event tours that focus on the ongoing conflict between Israeli and Palestinian aspirations for the future.   These programs can be mixed and matched together, as well as components put into faith-based pilgrimage tours.

Check Our Tours page and keep in mind that all our tours are customised. For any inquiries do not hesitate to contact us.

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Where To Celebrate Masses!

In Bethlehem

– Church of the Nativity

– Saint Catherine Church

– Saint Jerome Chapel

– Saint Helen Chapel

– Milk Grotto Church

– Shepherd’s Field

– Beit Sahour Parish

– Beit Jala Parish

 

In Jerusalem

– Church of the Holy Sepulchre

– Holy Tomb

– Crusader Chapel

– Dominus Flevit

– Church of All Nations

– Pater Noster Church

– Dormition Abbey Church

– Ecce Homo Convent “Sisters of Zion”

– Saint Peter in Galicantu Church

– Abu Ghosh Church

– Saint John the Baptist in Ein Karem

– Saint Lazarus Church in Bethany

 

In Jericho

– Good Shepherd Church

– Monastery of Temptation

 

In Nablus

– Jacob’s Well Church

– Nablus Latin Parish

 

In Nazareth

– Church of Announciation

– Saint Joseph Church

– Cana Wedding Church

 

In Tiberias

– Church of Transfiguration

– Church of Capernaum “Saint Peter’s House”

– Church of the Primacy of Peter

– Mount of Beatitudes Church

– Church of the Multiplication

 

In Haifa

– Stella Maris Convent

Travel Palestine!

Visiting Palestine through Laila Tours and Travel is one part of an amazing journey through the Holy Land. There’s so much more to offer in Palestine than Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and Laila Tours is willing to help you experience it! Ask about our special itineraries for custom tours and day programs in Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah.  Remember: we also offer extensions to Jordan and Egypt.

 

Visit Bethlehem Poster

The VISIT BETHLEHEM poster was specially commissioned by Laila Tours and Travel from English artist Mr Ian Knowles, a good friend of Laila Tours who regularly works out in the Holy Land, mainly as an iconographer voluntarily supporting our local churches. See more of his work on his website here:  www.eliasicons.co.uk

VISIT BETHLEHEM was inspired by the famous VISIT PALESTINE travel poster, as well as many other travel posters of the 1930s and 40s.  The original poster was created entirely by hand using no digital animation, and will be used both as a promotional tool for Laila Tours and Travel.  The unveiling of VISIT BETHLEHEM was held on November 7th, 2011 at a reception for His Grace, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster in Bethlehem.

This VISIT BETHLEHEM poster will be the first of an annual series of posters, released in the autumn of each year.   So far the response from this first poster has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are hoping to offer a range of poster sizes and other printed materials with VISIT BETHLEHEM.

To Purchase a copy of VISIT BETHLEHEM while visiting the Holy Land, or to obtain permission to use the image for promotional or educational purpose, please contact us for more details.  You may also put your name on a contact list for when the poster will be available for retail.

Stay in touch…there’ more to come!

 

Buy Visit Bethlehem Poster

 

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Touching Faith

The Holy Land is just that; a place of primary significance to more than half the world’s population. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity, the tombs of Abraham and David, the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are just some of the places that help unlock the mysteries of the world’s three great, monotheistic religions.

Over 4,000 years it has been settled by Phoenicians and Philistines, Hebrews and Greeks, Romans and Arabs, Crusaders and Turks who have all left their mark. Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, the rock city of Petra, and the ruins of Qumran all reveal glimpses of the wonders of ancient worlds.

Here east and west meet; Christians, Muslims and Jewish, secular and religious, and the remnants of ancient Christian communities in a world dominated by Arab culture. At times a tension that bursts out in violent conflict, it is also fertile ground to understand better the way to make peace. Whether it is interreligious dialogue, visiting the Israeli separation wall, cultural exchanges, and working alongside poor peasant farmers.
Access to religious sites is very easy, and entry to Israel for tour groups is hassle free. Palestinian communities are very peaceable and guarantee a sincere warm welcome. You will often find locals offering a free cup of coffee to passers by!
But how do you choose from so much? Laila Tours, a Christian tour operator based in Bethlehem, brings a depth of expert local knowledge as well as a commitment to the highest standards of a truly personal service. In such a context good advice is at a premium. Our main objective is to ensure that each group gets exactly what it wants. It is all about ‘taking you more personally’. So please come and let us enable you to bask in the culture of the Holy Land while glimpsing its past and renewing your faith.