The Christmas season kicked off in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem on Saturday with the traditional tree lighting ceremony outside the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square.
Thousands attended the festivities in the traditional birthplace of Jesus, which included a firework display and marked the beginning of advent, the season when Christians prepare to commemorate the birth of Jesus.
Earlier in the day a relic believed to be from the manger of Jesus was delivered to the Church of the Nativity, where it was welcomed by thousands of Christian pilgrims.
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