Happy Holiday Season
Thousands of Christians, dignitaries, tourists and residents converged on Manger Square in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Saturday night for the annual lighting of a giant Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity, considered the birthplace of Jesus. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Father Francesco Patton, a top official with the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, attended the ceremony. A fireworks display and performances kicked off the three-week run-up to Christmas Eve, when pilgrims from around the world will again filter into the city. Meanwhile, Sunday night marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, commemorating the successful revolt by the Maccabees against Greek rule in Jerusalem and the subsequent re-dedication of the Second Temple using a single jar of oil that is believed to have miraculously burned for eight days. During the festival, Jews light the menorah—a national symbol in Israel—eat jelly doughnuts, gamble for chocolate coins by spinning tops called dreidels, and exchange gifts. The Media Line management and staff wish our readers a joyous holiday.