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Armenian Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Marching bands made their way through the center of the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday (January 18) as church bells rang ahead of the arrival of Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Mangounian. The patriarch was attending the Church of Nativity's Manger Square to offer his blessing ahead of Armenian Christmas Eve midnight mass. Christian faithful lined the streets to catch a glimpse of their religious leader as he walked by. Christmas in Bethlehem is celebrated three times each year. Many Christians mark the date on December 25, based on the Gregorian calendar, while several Orthodox Christians commemorate the event to recognize the birth of Jesus on January 7. Some Armenian churches celebrate on January 19, making them the la st of the Eastern Churches to mark the event.

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