Israel’s independence, as well as its continued existence, is a modern-day miracle, but did you know it has come at the expense of human lives. So, before celebrating Independence Day, Israel honors those who gave their lives for their country. So how Independence Day celebrate in Israel? Does it have anything special? If you are interested in Israel’s Independence Day, read this article to the end.
When is Independence Day in Israel?
Independence Day (or Yom Ha’atzma’ut in Israel) celebrates Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 and is the state’s official national holiday. It is also the only official non-working day in Israel.
The holiday is celebrated on the 5th Iyar of the Jewish calendar or is transferred to the previous Thursday if the 5th Iyar falls on a Friday or a Saturday.
The day before this celebration is dedicated to remembering those who sacrificed their lives for the independence and continued existence of the country.
This proximity is meant to remind people of the heavy price for independence. On this day, the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to the sons and daughters who gave their lives to gain independence for the country.
History of Israel Independence Day
Before delving into how Independence day celebrate in Israel, let’s take a look at the history of Independence Day in this country.
Back on May 14, 1948, the day the British Mandate expired, the new Jewish state – the State of Israel – was officially established over a part of the area known as the British Mandate for Palestine. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence was restored after 2000 years.
Independence Day is a day commemorating the renewal of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the birthplace of the Jewish nation. In this land, the Jews began to develop their special religion and culture about 4,000 years ago. Here they maintained an unbroken physical presence that, for centuries as a sovereign state, at other times under foreign domination.
Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the land became the greatest desire of the Jews. Theodor Herzl – leader and founder of the Zionist movement – increased international recognition of the need for a Jewish state.
Since its founding, Israel has continued to be home to thousands of people who come to Israel every year. Israel is also home to some of the holiest religious sites of the three major religions. All of which enjoy the democratic rights outlined in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.
How Independence Day Celebrate in Israel
Now, let’s discover how Independence Day celebrate in Israel and activities on this special day.
Independence Day eve
An official ceremony is held annually on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem on the eve of Independence Day. The ceremony included speeches by high-ranking Israeli officials, part art, a ceremonial parade of soldiers carrying the Israeli flag, forming elaborate structures (such as Menorah, Magen David and several represent the times of Israel) and the ceremonial lighting of twelve torches (one for each of the Tribes of Israel).
Each year, dozens of Israeli citizens who contribute to the state are selected to light the lighthouses. In addition, the final round of the annual International Bible Quiz takes place after the ceremony.
A highlight of the day was the cross-country flight of military jets and helicopters. It’s a tradition that most Israelis love!
Independence Day precedes Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron), Israel’s official day of remembrance since it was enacted into law in 1963. As does the tradition of remembering those who have fallen while on active duty for their country, this day also remembers the civilian victims of terrorism.
The coincidence of the two days is a key element of the national independence experience. It also serves as a reminder that independence celebrations are not entirely separate from an awareness of the cost of achievement, often obtained through the sacrifices of the fallen and their families.
Like other Jewish holidays, Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzma’ut) will begin at sunset the previous day.
How Independence Day celebrate in Israel? What about popular activities?
Many cities organize outdoor activities and performances in the city squares with top Israeli singers and fireworks displays. On this day, the streets around the squares are closed to cars, allowing people to sing and dance in the streets.
Israeli families traditionally celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut with picnics and barbecues and dress up in Israel color: blue and white. Balconies are decorated with Israeli flags, and small flags are mounted on car windows. Some others let the flag last until after the holiday Yom Yerushalayim. Israel TV channels broadcast official events live, while also showing hit Israeli films and skits.
Independence Day Israel 2021
The celebration of Israel’s 73rd Independence Day has just taken place on Wednesday evening, April 14, immediately upon the end of Memorial Day for the fallen solidiers and victims of the terror, when the national flag is hoisted to the pole at a national ceremony on Mount Herzl, at which 12 torches are lit.
This year’s ceremony once again took place in front of a live audience as COVID, albeit on a smaller scale to maintain distance.
Well, so now you know the meaning, history as well as How Independence Day celebrate in Israel. How do you feel? And if you find this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.
Also, make this day more special by giving meaningful Independence Day gifts and wishes: Happy Independence Day.
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