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Holidays in Israel

holidays in israel

Israel recognizes a mix of national, Jewish religious, and secular holidays. Here are the most commonly celebrated: 1. Jewish Religious Holidays:

  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): This is a two-day holiday that generally falls in September or October.

  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): This is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah.

  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles): A week-long holiday that starts five days after Yom Kippur, where meals are typically eaten in outdoor booths.

  • Simchat Torah: This holiday immediately follows Sukkot and celebrates the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings.

  • Hanukkah (Festival of Lights): An eight-day holiday generally in December, celebrating the miracle of the oil in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

  • Purim: Celebrated in late winter, this holiday commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in the Persian Empire.

  • Pesach (Passover): An eight-day holiday (seven in Israel) usually in March or April, celebrating the Exodus from Egypt.

  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks): This holiday occurs seven weeks after Passover and commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

2. National Holidays:

  • Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day): A day to commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

  • Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day): A day to commemorate fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

  • Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day): Celebrating the establishment of the state of Israel.

  • Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day): Celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule.

3. Secular Holidays:

  • New Year's Day (January 1): Although not a public holiday, it is still celebrated by many Israelis.

  • International Women's Day (March 8): An increasingly recognized day in Israel, although not a public holiday.

  • Lag BaOmer: Although it has religious origins, this day has become a popular holiday for outings and bonfires.

On many Jewish holidays, businesses are closed, and on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, even television broadcasts are halted, and there is virtually no vehicle traffic. During national holidays, memorial sirens are sounded, and moments of silence are observed. It's also worth noting that the dates of Jewish holidays vary from year to year because they are based on the lunar Hebrew calendar, rather than the solar Gregorian calendar.

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