Palestinian National Authority — Festivals and Events
Palestinian National Authority (PNA) festivals and events are numerous. This is sometimes hard to believe since the area is constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, there are some spectacular events here. The Palestine International Festival is the largest of the celebrations in the territories. However, even the smaller festivals, like the Taybeh Oktoberfest, should not be overlooked. The Oktoberfest celebrates the gathering of locals and foreigners over Taybeh beer.
Artas Lettuce Festival
One of the most adorable festivals in the region is the Artas Lettuce Festival. Even though it doesn’t sound too enticing, this event brings thousands of locals and international tourists to the Artas region of the PNA. The event, which celebrates the life of peasants, is usually held in April.
Birzeit Heritage Week
During the summer month of July, Birzeit opens its arms to the surrounding Palestinian community for the Birzeit Heritage Week. Thousands flock to the settlement each year as a celebration of the area’s unique music, dance, cuisine, film, and theatrical heritage takes place. This is also a very stunning Old City, so touring the town is recommended.
Palestine International Festival
The West Bank festival with the farthest global reach is the Palestine International Festival. It is held in many towns across the PNA, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Ramallah, and other smaller villages during the month of July. It hosts more than just Palestinian cultural displays though, as dance and music groups from all over the Mediterranean come to the party too.
During the months of August and September (the ninth month of the lunar calendar), Ramadan is celebrated by the Islamic communities in the PNA. Tourists should experience this magnificent event. During the day, the cities and towns are relatively quiet. However, after the sun goes down, tourists can find plenty of places hosting feasts. After Ramadan finishes, the Eid al Fitr festival celebrates the end of Ramadan fast for several days.
On every other day of the year, the village of Taybeh is a sleepy little place that rarely gets any attention from the outside world. However, On October 6 and October 7, the village becomes a bustling bastion of beer-swilling tourists, who come for the Taybeh Oktoberfest. Taybeh brews the only local beer in Palestine, which is actually quite a good beverage. Book accommodations early, as the village is always brimming with travelers.
Jerusalem Music Festival
The Jerusalem Music Festival, held in the month of October, portrays the best that local culture PNA to offer. Tourists will need to book accommodation in advance for this event, as many thousands come for this celebration. Arts, folklore, dance, theatre, and cuisine from the region are also celebrated.
The Christian community in the West Bank flocks to central Bethlehem around Christmas time each year to experience the Christmas Bazaar. Held in December, the bazaar is awash in activity, with dozens of different booths selling products and food from around the globe. The takes place in Manger Square in the heart of Bethlehem.