Bethlehem is known as the “Christmas City”

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is known as the “Christmas City.” The moniker is a testament to the city’s heritage and commitment to holiday cheer.

Bethlehem was first established in 1741 by Moravian settlers who originated in what is now the Czech Republic.

They were known for their Protestant fail and strong sense of community. The Moravians brought their Christmas traditions with them. They believed strongly in unity and worship during the holiday season. The Christmas tree and the advent calendar are traditions brought to America by the Moravians. One of the most iconic elements of Bethlehem’s Christmas celebrations is the “Putz.” Translated, this German word means “to decorate” or “to embellish.” The tradition of the Putz can be traced back to the 18th century and includes a complex nativity scene. The miniature village is carefully crafted to depict the story of the birth of Jesus. Every year, local residents and organizations create intricate Putz displays that are displayed in churches and public areas throughout the city. This tradition honors the religious aspects of Christmas and also provides a visual testament to Bethlehem’s commitment to the holiday. Another popular symbol of the Christmas spirit is the Star of Bethlehem. Situated high on South Mountain, the Bethlehem Star shines every Christmas just as it has since 1937. The star includes over 5,000 bulbs and is 91 feet tall. This bright shining light serves as a beacon of joy and hope. Throughout the holiday season, the city hosts numerous festive events. Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem is a version of the famous European Christmas markets and offers visitors a chance to shop for holiday treats and unique gifts. The Christmas City Village is a charming holiday market set up in the historic downtown area where visitors can find a mic of food, crafts and live entertainment. Another highlight is the annual “Lights in the Parkway display.” A winter wonderland of illuminated displays welcomes visitors to drive through and take in the holiday magic.


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