Each month of December the city of Haifa hosts a festival called the Holiday of Holidays. This celebrates the city’s multicultural audience and their traditions during this exciting time.
Haifa is known for its diverse population of all religions living in peace side by side promoting tolerance and acceptance.
The name of the festival signifies the celebration of the religious holidays happening in December – Hanukkah for the Jews, Christmas for the Christians, the month of Ramadan and Eid Il Fiter for the Muslims, which may also happen in December, as it changes yearly.
The festival’s events happen on the weekends, Thursdays till Saturdays, all month long and in various locations in the city. The focal point of the holiday happens in Wadi Nisnas and the neighboring Hamoshava Hagermanit (The German Township) neighborhood.
During the holiday all of Haifa’s museums are free. The events throughout the city include stage performances, parades, plays, concerts, art exhibitions, tours, markets, and special events for children.
Nine years ago the first Christmas tree was displayed at the festival – made out of 5489 recycled plastic bottles collected throughout the city. The tree stood 12 meters high and since then every year a different tree is displayed.
These are some of the events you may find:
The bi-cultural art center, Beit Hagefen, conducts art tours focused on the narrative of the history of Haifa, and its varied population.
In the center of this neighborhood, you can find a wonderful aromatic market of spices, toys, decorations and more. During the festival, you can experience street art and performances. The restaurants lining the streets welcome visitors with both local and exotic flavors.
Also, from here the annual Christmas Day Parade will take place and you can check out Santa’s house, just in case you are curious.
The German Township neighborhood:
This neighborhood sits just below the beautiful Bahai Gardens and is similar to a quick trip to Europe during the holiday season. The private house’s windows are decorated for Christmas and the restaurants are decked out in holiday cheer. You can find lit reindeer and the main square hosting a huge Christmas tree.
For those participating in post-college Israel programs, it is the ultimate season to see Haifa and be part of an annual tradition celebrating Israel’s diversity in the one city that welcomes all. Please check out specific event dates and times before you head in and keep in mind it will be crowded but fun.