Courtesy of the Bethlehem Cultural Festival Team
Bethlehem Cultural Festival (BCF) is centered in the town of Bethlehem but encompasses artistic, creative, and cultural output from across Palestine and its neighbors. This year’s events reach as far as Tunisia and the Palestinian diaspora in South America.
Launched online in 2020, Bethlehem Cultural Festival looks forward this year to welcoming audiences in person, at live events, at locations from London to Glasgow and Palestine – in both the West Bank and Gaza – from December 2 to 5, 2021.
The new hybrid festival celebrates Palestine and the rich and diverse cultural scene of the Eastern Mediterranean region through music, theater, film, cuisine, dance, writing, and discussions of the role of heritage. Organized by a group of volunteers who work from Palestine and the UK, BCF is an annual independent platform that enables artists and cultural practitioners from across the region to showcase their work.
Why Bethlehem and not another city in Palestine? Much like the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts in Wales, we center the festival on the iconic little town of Bethlehem but draw on global connections. From Palestine to Europe and across to the Americas, BCF creates and strengthens partnerships, collaborations, and links across a broad range of cultural and heritage fields.
As the world prepares for Christmas festivities and the commercial business of the festive season gets under way, we are working to refocus people’s thoughts. At the heart of the Christmas story is Bethlehem in Palestine – not the fictional, nor the biblical, but the living, breathing city with a vibrant cultural pulse.
Bagpipes and the ney, olive oil and hummus, books, heritage, and tourism: Bethlehem Cultural Festival 2021 offers a broad range of events from the UK, Palestine, Tunisia, Colombia, and France, reaching out again to audiences across the globe and partnering internationally. Behind the array of panel discussions – that cover a fascinating range of topics and involve people who are passionate about their subject – is the broader goal of addressing the image of this region as presented in the media. The festival also aims to reach those whose eyes have not yet discovered the creativity and cultural activity of the region.
We look forward to welcoming everyone to our four-day program of exciting events! If you cannot make it to London or Glasgow, we hope you will find time to join the festival online.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the live and online events, please visit