1,000 Ways to Celebrate Y2K
The millennium is coming, the millennium is coming! For many, the millennium means a chance to celebrate the 2,000th birthday of Jesus. And the towns of Israel—particularly Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem—are expecting at least twice as many visitors as usual.
The celebration will begin on New Year’s Eve, when Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians will join hands in a circle around the Dead Sea for a big “hug.” The Millennium Great Embrace, sponsored by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, is expected to draw 100,000 well-wishers, according to Israel’s Ministry of Tourism. The celebration will also feature hot-air balloon rides over the Dead Sea, campfires in the surrounding hills, concerts and a multimedia show. (To participate, contact Israel’s Ministry of Tourism at 1–888-77-ISRAEL; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Jubillenium March—a series of walking tours of Israel led by professional naturalists—is being planned by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). An eight-hour trek, geared toward more experienced hikers, starts at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, traverses the hills of the Judean Desert and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. A shorter, five-hour walk, suitable for families, will lead from the Arbel cliffs in southern Galilee to Magdala, the traditional home of Mary Magdalene, on the western shore of the sea. (To find out more about the walks, which begin at $20 per person, contact SPNI at email@example.com.)