If you’re traveling to Israel during Holy Week or just taking a trip at any time of the year, there are a number of sites that you must explore! Israel is a special place where tourists flock throughout the year, however, during Easter, the Holy Land is the most crowded with tourists from around the world. Besides visiting these sites, there are a number of processions and events that also happen during this time.
A trip to Israel during Holy Week and Easter Sunday is a unique experience for everyone, and if you’re headed here at this busy time, here are some of the best places and events you should see!
The Jordan River
It’s an important site in the Christian religion and it’s also one of most visited ones throughout the year. If you didn’t know, the Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee and according to the Bible, it’s where Israelites first crossed near Jericho. It’s where Jesus’ Baptism took place and is where miracles recorded in the Bible happened. And you may even see someone getting Baptized in the river while you’re here.
Palm Sunday Procession
The Palm Sunday procession in Jerusalem starts with mass in Bethpage and then the procession begins on the same path Jesus had walked when he entered Jerusalem, according to Christian religon. Up to 10,000 people can be expected to attend where you’ll hear joyful cries and music. The procession goes from Bethpage up to the Old City.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is in fact, a freshwater lake where according to the religion Jesus spent most of his ministry. Jesus called upon four of his disciples here, performed miracles, and taught The Sermon of the Mount. This is a very symbolic place for those who follow the religion. Those who visit usually take the time to reflect, explore, and even take a boat ride to sail in the quiet waters.
If you’re headed to Israel, you probably have this spot listed on your itinerary. And if not, you should know that the Western Wall is one of the holiest sites in the Jewish religion. Based on traditional religion, this ancient wall is the remaining remnant of the Second Temple that once enclosed the western part of the Temple Mount, which is why so many come here to pray and worship. The wall located in the Old Town of Jerusalem is an emotional place where visitors leave pieces of paper with written personal prayers in the cracks of the ancient wall. All religions are welcomed to this place. You’ll see Orthodox Jews facing the wall, chanting and swaying while others recite the Book of Psalms.
Good Friday Procession
It’s the most solemn day of the year for Christians and attending this procession may be one of the most meaningful experiences for them. The Good Friday walk begins in the Old City and according to religion follows the path known as the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa that Jesus took to his crucifixion and death.
Church of Holy Sepulcher
Christians look forward to visiting the Church of Holy Sepulcher during Holy Week and Easter Sunday. This site is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and is where Jesus was buried and resurrected. Standing among the most solemn holy grounds with incredible architecture and immaculate beauty is certainly an incredible experience especially for Christians who believe this site is where the most important event to ever take place in human history.
Some say, among all the Holy days, Easter Sunday is the most joyful time of the year for Christians. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the main place for Christians to be on this day as well as the Sunrise Service at the Garden Tomb.
Did we miss any other sites or events happening during Holy Week in Israel? If so, let us know in the comments!