10th Spring Festival and 19th Artas Lettuce Festival 2013

Artas Lettuce Festival 2013

Visitor Information Center – Bethlehem has a pleasure to inform you about the 10th Spring Festival and the 19th Artas Lettuce Festival and, which will take place in Artas village located just next to Bethlehem.

“The Annual Spring Festival and the Annual Artas Lettuce Festival have teamed up this year to provide more ways to appreciate, celebrate and enjoy Spring as well as the natural and cultural history of Palestine in general and Artas in particular. (See below article for details.)

Located at a crossroads of ecosystems and civilizations, this  lovely village just to the south of Bethlehem is particularly rich in archeological remains and is steeped in traditions and folklore of successive civilizations. Come follow in the footsteps of the legendary men and women who have been drawn to Artas, making it one of the best documented villages in Palestine.” – Leyla Zuaiter.

10th Spring Festival – 12/04/2013 – Friday

The celebrations begin on Friday, April 12 with two hikes, a long one and a short one, both leaving from the Ottoman Fort near the Solomon’s Pools. Please bee there at 8:30 am.

Short Hike – 2 km –  This hike from the Solomon Pools Area to  Artas Village is led by the Environmental Educational Center. We will meet at Qalet el-Murad – an old Ottoman fortress – at 8:30 am, setting off at 9:00 passing by Solomon Pools, Water Channels, Pine Forest, Khirbet Khoh, Wadi Artas reaching the village of Artas, where we will visit the Convent of the Hortus Conclusus, the Artas Spring, Exhibitions at the Cultural Center of Artas. The importance of all the places will be explained along the way. This is a free event.

Long Hike – 11 km – This hike from the Solomon Pools Area to Herodium (Jabal el-Fordis) is led by the Artas Folklore Center. We meet at Qalet Murad at 8:30 am as above. After following the same route as the short walk, the hikers continue to Herodium through Wadi Artas, Hindazeh, Khalayleh el-Loz and Asahre The path passes next to ancient Roman aqueducts and tombs. The cost of the event is 70 NIS in total – 30 NIS for the guiding as a donation for the Artas Cultural Centre, 10 NIS for the transportation back to Bethlehem or Artas and 27 NIS for the entrance ticket to Herodium, however nobody is obliged to enter. Please bring: Food, Water, Sunscreen.

Logisitics

There is secure parking near the Solomon’s Pools. The ending time of each hike depends on the pace of the group and how long it lingers at the various sites. It would probably be no later than noon for the short hike and 4 for the long one, but could be earlier in  both cases.

for reservation and questions contact VIC at vicbethlehem@gmail.com

19th Artas Lettuce Festival- 18/04/2013 – Thursday

The following Thursday, on April 18, from 4 till 7 pm spectators will sit in the amphitheater of the Solomon’s Pool’s Convention Center  for an early evening of folklore, music and singing – and a chance to enjoy the lettuce for which Artas is famous. Back by popular demand is the Arab Educational Institute and Vision Association for Culture and Arts.

19th Artas Lettuce Festival

How to get there?

Artas is located just next to the Solomon Pools area. Take a collective taxi for 3 NIS per person from in front of the Bus Station (Bethlehem City Center) in Bethlehem and ask to go to Dhesieh. Often a driver, when asked could take you a bit further to the area of the Solomon Pools – the place where all events will start or take place. In case the distance between Dhesieh and Solomon pools is walkable.

in case of any questions contact VIC at vicbethlehem@gmail.com

To learn more about Artas visit www.palestine-family.net – a very informative page about Palestinian traditions and the official Facebook page: Artas Village.

Enjoy the pictures of Artas taken by Fadi Musa – the coordinator of the event and the representative of the Artas Cultural Center.

“To make the most of your visit, begin your explorations of Artas and the Artas Lettuce Festival on Palestine-family.net. From the navigation pane at left, select “Our Partners” and then “Artas Folklore Center.” From there you can see videos and photos of previous festivals and hikes, and other events .sponsored by the Artas Folklore Center and learn about the fascinating history, heritage and folklore of the village. Of particular interest is the association of the figure of Solomon and jinn with the village, and the many studies about almost every aspect of the village – many by women, such as those by the Swedish/Finnish Anthropologist Hilma Granqvist. Of equal interest is the story of the life-changing encounter in Artas which, caused a schoolteacher to dedicate his life to preserving and promoting the history and heritage of his village. Just for fun, why not start with the Artas Quiz?” – Leyla Zuaiter.

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Visitor Information Center wishes you a great time during the festival!

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