MIILYA, Israel, Dec 21 - Christmas festivities swelled the population of an Israeli village on Friday, as crowds of revelers donned Santa costumes to run through its narrow streets while spectators jingled bells to cheer them on.
Organizers of the annual event in Miilya, a Christian village in the country's north, said 1,200 runners of all ages were taking part, with Jews and Muslims joining in too.
"Sport is one universal language for all sects and groups," said Jeries Abu Hanna, one of the organizers.
"It makes a very beautiful atmosphere... People (also) come from outside the town (to) enroll," said Tarek Tuma, 37, who owns a local coffee house.
Miilya's population is some 3,200, and around two in every 100 Israeli residents are Christians.