Despite being a Muslim majority country, Christmas is an actual holiday in Jordan. A little under 10% of the population of the Kindom of Jordan are Christians and they are freely able to celebrate Christian holidays. Muslims in Jordan also get into the celebrating spirit and you will find the festive atmosphere in the country in December. Lots of Amman Christmas markets are hosted in hotels and by churches and you will find vendors and and beautifully decorated trees. The Amman Christmas markets offer seasonal products and gifts, as well as souvenirs for visitors. It is actually quite cold in Jordan in the winter, and the winter coats and scarves and occasional snowfall in higher elevations adds to the festive time in December.
What to Expect: Christmas in Jordan
Christians in Jordan and those who celebrate make the story of Jesus a much larger part of the celebrations than Santa Claus. Whether it is festive nativity scenes or other Christian symbols, the season is much more than a winter holiday. That does not mean that Santa Claus does not make an appearance, as he can be found in Jordan Christmas Markets.
Christian Holy Sites
Christmastime is a great time to visit Jordan and the Christian Holy Sites in the country. Whether it is Bethany Beyond the Jordan where Jesus was baptized or Mount Nebo where Moses was shown the Promised Land, Jordan offer’s important sites to Christian pilgrims and others who wish to see these places for themselves. Umm Qais, Machaerus and Pella are also important sites from Biblical stories. The Madaba church housing the mosaic map is another stop to add for anyone visiting Jordan!
Christmas at Petra
Petra is open on Christmas day, check to see the hours as it is a public holiday in the country. Did you know that there are stories that the three wise men may have actually traveled from Petra to Bethlehem? If you have a tour in Jordan, you will probably hear many more interesting tidbits about history that you would never hear otherwise!
Amman Annual Christmas Markets
Amman Rotana Christmas Market
Wander through a Winter-Wonderland at the Amman Rotana featuring a small village with nicely decorated wooden chalets offering our guests a promenade of ornaments, decorative gifts and handicraft items typical of the season. Enjoy a selection of culinary delicacies and get into the festive spirit with a unique Christmas shopping experience.
The Boulevard in Abdali has events from Dec 1-31. Check out their facebook page for what is going on each day in December. They are featuring live entertainment, a Christmas market, dazzling decorations and many more things to get into the holiday spirit.
Dead Sea Spa Resort Christmas Cave and Market
The Dead Sea Spa Resort has the world’s largest Christmas Cave and a market for visitors. Their hotel is decorated and their ballroom has a large reception evening. While dates are not posted, keep an eye on their facebook page.
Read how to get from Amman to the Dead Sea.
Children’s Museum Jordan
Bring your children to the Jordan Children’s museum to decorate their giant Christmas Tree, play with snow, enjoy seasonal music performances, make gifts and see Santa! Admission is JD3 per person (the usual price).
More information can be found on their site.
Winter in Jordan is actually quite cold! Read all about what to expect in my Guide to Winter in Jordan.
If you are planning your time in Amman, check out this Amman Guide.
To escape winter, we have you covered in our Aqaba Guide.
What to wear in Jordan for any season is going to be really helpful for your winter visit!
Lindsay fell in love with Jordan when she first visited in 2016. She now goes back every year to explore more of this special place. Lindsay is also the owner of Amman Food Tours, a social enterprise that is women-owned and hires local female guides. This project provides meaningful employment for women in Amman.