Christmas in Lebanon – The Maronite Catholics Country

Unlike the majority of countries in the Middle East, Christmas in Lebanon is an official holiday.

Both Christian and Muslim Lebanese celebrate this day with vigor, which is accomplished through decorations, Christmas feasts, nativity cribs, dance and bonfires as a sign of renewal of friendship.

Christmas Embellishments

You’re bound to experience the Christmas cheer the moment you step foot into the capital city of Beirut; the entire country, particularly houses, streets, and city squares are enveloped in the aura of festivity.

The Lebanese decorate their country with adornments that include flickering lights, Christmas trees, and nativity scenes.

Nativity Cribs

Unlike in most countries where nativity scenes are based on a stable, the Lebanese create nativity cribs founded on a cave.

These cribs are adorned with sprouted seeds like lentils, wheat, oats, and chickpeas that have been carefully nurtured in damp cotton wool in the weeks preceding Christmas.

Nativity scenes serve the all-important purpose of recreating the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

These scenes consist of figurines of Joseph, Mary, the kings, and shepherds; the cribs are essentially the focus of prayer for the home’s occupants.

The Christmas Feast

In the days preceding Christmas, the Lebanese devour a conventional Christmas meal comprised of roasted duck, turkey, pastries like Buche De Noel and Honey cake, as well as a native salad known as Tabouleh.

Christmas lunch is the most important meal for the Lebanese Christians.

The entire family gathers in the home of the eldest male, whether it’s a grandfather or the eldest son to revel in a sumptuous meal consisting of meat, veggies, and fruits.

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The Christmas feast in Lebanon cannot be complete without consuming chicken, rice and Kubbeh—a meal consisting of wheat or burghul combined with pepper, meat, salt, and onion. 

In the event that a child is born during the Christmas season, the family will celebrate by preparing a special meal known as Mughly.

This is basically a pudding topped with crushed almonds and walnuts, or even peanuts; this is served to the family members and those visiting the newborn.

Christmas Dance

The Lebanese will also engage in a traditional Christmas dance known as Dabke. This is performed by family and friends while holding hands in a circle or semicircle.

Dabke entails stamping feet in time to native tunes and rhythms produced through darbouka—a traditional percussion instrument. 

dabke in lebanon

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Main Points About Christmas in Lebanon

  1. In Lebanon, nativity scenes take more prominence than any other form of Christmas decoration.
  2. At Christmas time, many youngsters party with friends loved ones and there are lots of merriment.
  3. The midnight church service is very popular in Lebanon.  Many Lebanese catholic attend with veneration.
  4. The ‘dabkeh’ is still a well-celebrated tradition. It is a dance where people hold hands to form a circle and stamp to native tunes.
  5. Whether it is on Christmas eve or Christmas, the common meals eaten include kibbeh pie, minced meats, turkey or chicken, rice, warm yogurt sauce, beet, salad, lamb, and lots more.

Conclusion

The Christmas season in Lebanon marks the temporary cessation of political rivalry and the Lebanese focus on creating merry and renewing friendship.

While Christmas mass remains a tradition in Lebanon, the Lebanese celebrate this season in such a secular manner that everyone is enticed to join in. People in Lebanon wish each other Merry Christmas as Eid Milad Majid (عيد ميلاد مجيد).

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Some people who speak French would say Joyeux Noël. You should also check a list of all countries and how people in those countries wish Merry Christmas to each other.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Lebanon

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Lebanon. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Christmas in Lebanon
References
  1. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-we-celebrate-christmas-in-lebanon-christmas-around-the-world-198480
  2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-christmas-season-lebanon/christmas-in-lebanon-not-so-merry-as-economic-crisis-bites-idUSKBN1YQ08I
  3. http://www.indobase.com/holidays/christmas/world/christmas-in-lebanon.html

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Christmas in Lebanon – The Maronite Catholics Country”

  1. I appreciate the insight into the culinary customs of the Lebanese Christmas feast, it sounds like a delicious and joyous occasion.

  2. The Lebanese Christmas celebrations are so rich in tradition, it’s beautiful to see the festive atmosphere that engulfs the entire country.

  3. The vibrant and diverse celebrations in Lebanon truly showcase the universal message of joy and hope that Christmas represents.

  4. It’s wonderful to see how the Lebanese people creatively incorporate nature into their nativity scenes, making it a truly unique Christmas celebration.

  5. The Lebanese Christmas traditions and customs are a testament to the enriching blend of cultural heritage and festive spirit that defines this season.

  6. The Lebanese Christmas tradition is truly a symbol of unity, and it’s fascinating to see the inclusion of both Christian and Muslim celebrations.

  7. The Lebanese tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus in a secular yet inclusive manner exemplifies the spirit of Christmas as a time of peace and goodwill towards all.

  8. The communal aspect of the Lebanese Christmas dance and feast serves as a heartening reminder of the importance of family and togetherness during the festive season.

  9. Despite the country’s political challenges, the Lebanese people’s commitment to unity and friendship during Christmas is truly uplifting.

  10. The level of detail and devotion in the Christmas celebrations in Lebanon is truly impressive, it’s heartwarming to read about their customs and traditions.

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