Easter in Jerusalem and Israel – Main Events 2020
Easter in Jerusalem and in Israel is celebrated differently than in other parts of the world.
It is usually celebrated on the same dates as the Jewish holiday of Passover (Pessach), meaning that the main focus of events around the country would be around Passover and its traditions, as well as an influx in Israeli travelers around the country.
Many Christian travelers and pilgrims from around the world can be witnessed in the streets of Jerusalem during this time of the year. With Easter Sunday on April 12, the days before and after will also provide many opportunities for believers to walk in Jesus’ last footsteps.
We’ve highlighted some of the main events around Passover and Easter in Israel including things that are important to know.
Passover, celebrated on the 8-15 of April, 2020 commemorates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery Egypt and arrival in the holy land of Israel.
During the two holiday eves and days, many businesses and restaurants will be closed, especially around the 8-9 of April and the 14-15 of April. That also includes all forms of public transport except taxis and service taxis.
In between these days kosher restaurants and shops will not serve any products containing yeast and flour that isn’t made of Matza flour. This includes beer, bread and other types of food.
Traditionally Jews will eat Matza bread, thin slices of dough that are baked without the use of yeast. That said, many restaurants that do not have a kosher certificate will most likely continue business as usual, especially in Tel Aviv.
The main Easter events and celebrations can be found in Jerusalem. For example on Palm Sunday, April 5th, there will be events both at the Mount of Olives at 14:30 and also at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where the Syrian, Armenian and Copt rotunda takes place from 17:00.
Good Friday, April 10th
From the morning at 7:15 to 20:00 in the evening, events will take place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, including the Celebration of the Passion of Christ, Procession of the Way of the Cross on the path of the Via Dolorosa and lastly the Funeral Process at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Easter Sunday, April 12th
On this day the Pontifical mass and procession will take place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre from 10:00 in the morning. Sunrise and resurrection services will also be available in English at the Garden Tomb.
More information about Protestant and Catholic events around the city can be found on the website of the Christian Information Center.
During Easter tours of the old city of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives will also depart as scheduled and can be reserved and booked online.
Generally, it is recommended to stay in Jerusalem for at least two to three nights. If you are planning to stay in Jerusalem during Easter and Passover book your dorm bed or private room at the Abraham Hostel Jerusalem, where everyone is welcomed.