- Title: Christians in Bethlehem welcome Holy Fire
- Date: 1st May 2021
- Summary: CHRISTIAN YOUNG MEN CELEBRATING HOLY FIRE ARRIVAL MAN CARRYING LIT CANDLE, AND LIGHTING TORCH YOUNG MEN CHANTING SLOGANS AND CELEBRATING HOLY SATURDAY
- Embargoed: 15th May 2021 15:36
- Keywords: Bethlehem COVID-19 Church of Nativity Holy Fire Palestinians
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003EB4R3UV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of Palestinian Christians on Saturday (May 1) celebrated Easter's Holy Fire ceremony in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The Holy Fire is considered a miracle and occurs every year on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Easter Sunday.
Worshippers packed the narrow streets of Bethlehem, the believed birthplace of Jesus waiting for the Holy Fire torch to arrive from Jerusalem.
The yearly ceremony was different last year without a crowd of local Palestinians and visitors due to coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier in the day, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III, entered the small tomb structure of Jesus at the Holy Sepulchre Church in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Around 2 pm local time, a sunbeam is believed to shine through the window in the ceiling of the church and light a lamp placed in the tomb.
Seconds after the Orthodox patriarch reveals the Holy Fire, it is rapidly spread throughout the church as worshippers light each other's candles.
The fire is then passed on to the worshippers who are waiting outside, then to West Bank cities and other countries.
(Production: Roleen Tafakji, Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh)
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