Fireworks light up Jerusalem skies as Christmas lights are turned on

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Christmas lights in Jerusalem’s Old City were switched on, kicking off celebrations with a bang on Saturday, as fireworks lit up the sky above a giant Christmas tree.

A crowd, several thousand strong, gathered to watch the display, cheering as the festivities started.

The event was organised for the fifth year in a row by the Christian group ‘Seeds of Better Life’. Loay Saeed, a spokesperson for the group said, ”[The Christmas tree is] a tree of steadfastness and brotherhood through which we send a message love for people and for all nations and Jerusalem to all and we are present in it because Jerusalem is key to peace.”

The event brought together people of different religious backgrounds, with local resident Ayman Al-Sawwo saying, “We came today to join the brothers in the glorious Eid, and this tree for us is a heritage for the Palestinian people, especially Jerusalem. We came to join the Christians in the feast, celebrate with them and share them both big and small on their festivals in Jerusalem.” He added, “We are with each other and all together and we must gather and be with each other.”

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