Friday, December 23, 2022

Bethlehem AD

 The 30-year anniversary of this fun tradition, and likely the last one (at least at this location).  The girls were tax collectors again and have such fun doing it, as their job is to harass the visitors as they arrive, pretending to steal their taxes, performing "Roman weddings" and generally being silly and obnoxious as people "enter Bethlehem," usually after standing in a four-five block line to get in.  

Waiting in line, visitors are entertained by costumed participants dressed up as Roman soldiers, Herod, the Three Wise Men (sometimes women), or chain gangs. Once through the entrance and pass the harassing tax collectors, they see Rabbis teaching children, a marketplace with potters and carpenters, dancers, children playing with dreidels, an inn with no vacancy, tons of animals (camels, pigs, turtles, chickens, rabbits, sheep...) and then, around a corner, a family surrounded by dancing angels with a tiny baby who is sometimes asleep, sometimes awake and being super cute.  It's spectacular and the girls love it.  They started as children in a tribe, rotating to seven different places to crack nuts, visit the Roman camp, learn from rabbis, hold animals, etc.  Then they were the kids who run up and down the street, announcing the proclamation from Caesar Augustus about returning to be counted in the census.  I love seeing them have so much fun and will be sorry if it is truly over this year.