Yom Haatzmaut: Israeli Independence Day

Due to COVID-19, large gatherings and events are restricted throughout Israel until further notice. This means that in 2020, no public events will take place to celebrate Israeli Independence Day throughout the country. We support these gudelines and recommend that everyone find a way to celebrate in their own home, with a barbecue, games, or music. Please check back next year for Yom Haatzmaut Events in 2021. Below, you may read about what normally takes place in Israel on this special day.

Yom Haatzmaut is Israeli Independence Day, a day of great celebration held every year in late April or early May – on the day (in the Hebrew calendar) which, in 1948, Israel declared its independence. Across Israel, events and celebrations take place to mark Independence – both on a national scale and on a more local scale, with almost every city, town, and village, having some sort of celebration. In 2020, Yom Haatzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) falls from sundown on April 28 to sundown on April 29.

The major State Ceremony for Yom Haatzmaut takes place on the eve of Yom Haatzmaut at Mount Herzl, Israel’s National Ceremony in Jerusalem. This event marks the end of Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s memorial day, which falls immediately before), and the beginning of the celebration for Yom Haatzmaut. The ceremony involves performances, speeches, and a ceremonial lighting of twelve torches which symbolizes the Twelve Tribes of Israel by twelve citizens who have made a great impact on the country.  At the same time, towns and cities across the country have parties and firework displays.

The following day, parades and events take place across Israel including a spectacular military plane fly-by (see the schedule for the Independence Day Fly Over), parades, a famous International Bible Competition, and the ceremony for the Israel Prize which is Israel’s highest award and honor. The Israel Prize is given each year to about 10-15 people in the presence of the presence of the President, Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the Supreme Court president.

Yom Haatzmaut is a real family day, and Israelis flock to Israel’s National Parks, hiking trails, and beauty spots, for barbecues and picnics.

Source: Tourist Israel

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