12th Olive Harvest Festival in Bethlehem 2012

Olive Trees play a very significant role in the Palestinian Tradition. They have been always considered both an indispensable element of Palestinian livelihood and a symbolic token of peace and prosperity.

Palestinian Dabkeh Bethlehem

The months of October and November mark the Olive Harvest season in Palestine. It is a very joyful time and brings a lot of festivals in all over the country. In Bethlehem, we are going to celebrate it on the 3rd of November 2012 on the Manger Square, from the morning till the evening. Visitor Information Center would like to invite you to our city at that day, as it is going to be a time full of interesting events and attractions!!

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Traditional Palestinian Food in Bethlehem

There are plenty of places in Bethlehem where you can eat something tasty! Eat, eat! You need energy to tour in Bethlehem!

Traditional Food

“Eat like the locals, I promise you that they know what food to eat and not to eat. Try something local in small places – you won’t regret it. My favorite dish in this area must be bread and hummus and falafel, or mezza which is a dish to share. Lots of bread and lots of different stews, dips and small dishes to eat with the bread. You’ll LOVE it!! By Whoopi

Palestinian traditional cuisine is very healthy and full of important vitamins. Ingredients like olives and olive oil or fresh mint, as well as fresh lemon juice and spices make it really special, aromatic and different from the other cuisines.

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11th Olive Harvest Festival in Bethlehem & More!

Olive Trees play a very significant role in the Palestinian Tradition. They have been always considered both an indispensable element of Palestinian livelihood and a symbolic token of peace and prosperity.

The months of October and November mark the Olive Harvest season in Palestine. It is a very joyful time and brings a lot of festivals in all over the country. In Bethlehem, we are going to celebrate it on the 29th of October 2011.  Visitor Information Center would like to invite you our city at that day – as it is going to be a time full of interesting events and attractions!!

Traditional Market Bethlehem

Now as the olives are already collected and half of the work considering the olive harvest is done came the time to process them to be eatable and tasty. It is the time to pickle olives or press them for olive oil. The Palestinian Farmers and Olive Oil Cooperatives would like to present to everyone on the 11th Olive Harvest Festival 2011, which is going to last the whole day (29.10.2011) from 10 am till 8 pm.

Palestinian Dabkeh Bethlehem

The 11th Olive Harvest Festival is an event which is going to feature: Olives, Olive Oil, Wood, Soap, Traditional Food, Tile Making, Embroidery & Palestinian Folkloric Shows. There will be a traditional market in the heart of Bethlehem – the Manger Square, and plenty of interesting performances. Most of the shows are prepared by the school students of Bethlehem and surroundings. There are going to be multiple Dabkeh performances, which is the traditional Palestinian dance. Check the following picture to know the schedule of the festival:

What is more, the Visitor Information Center prepared a special event to crown the Olive Harvest 2011. On the occasion of the Olive Harvest Season 2011 the VIC and Canaan Fair Trade have a pleasure to invite you for ”Olive Oil Tasting & Tours”. Come to the VIC on the 29th of October to meet the Canaan Fair Trade representative to learn more!!

The VIC would like to introduce you to the Canaan Fair Trade company, their organic fair trade products & the tours organized around their olive oil production facility in Burqin. It is a repetition of the event form the last week, which was a great success, but this time with more products and possibility to buy them. Now everybody can support the local community of Palestinian Farmers!! AND learn about the tour the VIC is going to make on the 4th of October to Burqin and the Canaan Facility!

Olive Oil Tatsing

Read more: “Olive Oil Tasting & Tours” & “Olive Harvest in Burqin” & “Olive Hatvest 2011

Olive Tasting

& More …

That’s not the end of the events of the Saturday 29.10.2011. There are also evening attractions:

  • “Revival” Safar Theater in Dar Annadwa at 7 PM. Price 10 NIS.
Theatre Play Bethlehem
  • Classical Music Concert for Peace and Freedom Palestine 2011 in the Bethlehem University Hall at 8 PM
Caritas Concert
Visitor Information Center wishes you a great time in Bethlehem!

Palestinian Handicrafts

Take home a part of Palestinian culture – Buy a handcrafted souvenir from Palestine.

Handicrafts are a vital part of Palestinian cultural treasure. They reflect the creativity of Palestinian people and are a proof for their national identity. Various forms of arts and crafts are popular through the country.


Palestinian Embriodery

Embroidery is so common that sometimes it is referred to be a national art of Palestine. It is a rich artistic tradition that has been passed down by mothers to their daughters through generations. Designs of embroidered ornaments vary according to the area of origin. Palestinian traditional stitches took a lot form the nature:

Palestinian Stitches

The earliest forms of cross stitch embroidery can be dated back to the 11th century. During the ancient period the colours for the threads were made from the dyes of berries and flowers and pure silk threads were brought from Lebanon and Syria.

Among many items made of cloth women dresses have always been the most common embroidered item. As well nowadays embroidered fabric is commonly used as part of clothing or decoration for bags, purses, pencil cases, book covers, pillowcases etc.


Glass and Ceramics

Pottery is an ancient Palestinian tradition that has been carried from the Biblical times. At present the country manufactures various forms of pottery items that are both hand-made and fired. The pottery of Hebron is well known all over the world for their distinct style and finish.

Olive Wood and Mother of Pearl

The Palestinian manufacture of religious and decorative items in olivewood and mother of pearl is an old tradition from the area of Bethlehem, nowadays famous around the world.

Olive Wood Palestine

Olive wood with its variety of natural colours and shades is a perfect material for very decorative items and figures. Carved olivewood and mother of pearl items include ornamental boxes, picture frames, book covers, candleholders, Christmas decorations, rosaries and a lot more. Crib scenes with figures of the Holy Family, the three Magi, and the shepherds are very popular among tourists and pilgrims visiting Palestine.

So don’t wait! Have a piece Palestinian culture for your own! – Buy a handcrafted souvenir from Palestine.

Hebron Festival 2011 – Heritage & Tourism

Take part in Hebron Festival (15.10.2011)! The festival organizers, members of Hebron-France Association for Cultural Exchange, are providing a great opportunity to discover the specials of Hebron’s unique cultural and architectural heritage. So don’t wait – reserve that Saturday for Hebron!!

Hebron Ibrahim Mosque

Did you know that Hebron is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? It is located only 30 km south of Jerusalem. The town is a sacred place to the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Ibrahim Mosque, containing the tombs of Abraham, his wives and immediate descendants, is one of the most important landmarks in Palestine. The building was built by Herod the Great (c. 74-4 BC), and it is the only Herodian place, which remains undamaged.

The Hebron-France Association for Cultural Exchange cares to bring more dynamism to the city of Hebron and especially to its Old City, trough the many cultural activities it organizes.

Hebron Festival for Heritage & Tourism

Poster Hebron Festival

This year the organization prepared a special program for the visitors and the inhabitants of Hebron – the Hebron Festival for Heritage & Tourism. The aim of the festival is to strengthen the economy of the city and introduce the visitors to Palestinian traditional arts and crafts, which are greatly manufactured in Hebron. The participants in the event will take part in multiple workshops, conferences and cultural activities. Moreover, there are going to be organized guided tours around the Old City and fun activities for children.

Schedule of Hebron Festival:

Hebron Festival Schedule

Tours in Hebron with AECHF

One of the regular activities of Hebron-France Association for Cultural Exchange are guided alternative tours in Hebron and around. The association provides French and English guides who will help you discover the city and its landmarks. The organization believes that a direct contact with Palestinian people would help you understand their traditions. So the AECHF encourages you to experience the real Palestinian hospitability by staying with the locals in their houses.

On a tour organized by AECHF you would:

  • Have a tour the Old City (the market souk, Abraham mosque, Mameluk houses)
  • Explore the social and political situation from a local perspective
  • Tour sites around Hebron; Bani Naim, Samu’ and other communities
  • Visit the beautiful local craft industries
  • Meet members of social, cultural, and political associations
  • Stay in the homes of families and experience the daily life of Hebronites

Contact AECHF to organize individual or group travel and stay in Hebron.                       Visit their AECHF website or their Facebook page.

Visitor Information Center – Bethlehem wishes you a great time in Hebron!