Pilgrims flock to Bethlehem for Christmas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pilgrims flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (KWWL) - Thousands of pilgrims from around the world have descended on the traditional birthplace of Jesus for the Palestinian town's most upbeat Christmas celebrations in years.

Christmas in Bethlehem has its incongruous elements -- the Palestinian boy scouts who wear kilts and play bagpipes in one of the town's holiday traditions, for example, or the inflatable Santa Clauses hanging from church pillars and storefronts. There even was a Christmas rock concert this year.

But for pilgrims like Jeffrey Lynch of New York City, the focus was on worship at the Church of the Nativity, the fourth-century structure built atop the spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.

Lynch said celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem was "a miracle" and "a lifetime opportunity" for him.

Online News Director Nate Leding

Powered by Frankly