COVID Puts A Damper On Christmas Eve Again Around The World

Palestinian scout bands parade through Manger Square at the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, during Christmas celebrations, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Friday, Dec. 24, 2021. The biblical town of Bethlehem is gearing up for its second straight Christmas Eve hit by the coronavirus with small crowds and gray, gloomy weather dampening celebrations Friday in the traditional birthplace of Jesus. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

From Bethlehem and Frankfurt to London and Boston, the surging coronavirus dampened Christmas Eve festivities for a second year. Churches are canceling or scaling back services.

Travel plans are being disrupted because of flight cancellations, as the pandemic once again casts a pall on celebrations around the world. Musicians banging drums and playing bagpipes marched through the town of Bethlehem to the delight of smaller than usual crowds.

Weary from nearly two years of lockdowns and safety restrictions, holiday celebrants searched for ways to return to rituals that were called off last year.


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