Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 27

Snow Falling in Bethlehem

Have you ever wondered how we came up with December 25th as the date of Jesus’ birthday? As I mentioned earlier, the Orthodox follow a different calendar and Christmas isn’t until January 7th for them. The Armenians don’t celebrate Christmas until the end of January. I’ll let you look up all the details, but it is in fact true that we don’t really know what time of year Jesus was born. However, the purpose of this entry today is to thoroughly dispel one myth regarding Christmas. I have often been told that it doesn’t make sense to think of snow with Christmas since, even if Jesus was born in December, it does not snow in Bethlehem in December or any other time. This I can now attest is incorrect. Beginning Tuesday night the rain started coming with a vengeance. It then got colder and colder until today it began snowing. A man who had come from the higher country just a few miles away said that there were 2 inches on the ground in Hebron. We did in fact even have some accumulation here in Bethlehem as well. So, call me the Christmas myth buster. It can and does snow in Bethlehem at Christmas (but only about once every 20 years I’m told by the locals).

Snowy-Covered Bethlehem

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