12 December 2019 - 15 Kislev 5780 - ט"ו כסלו ה' אלפים תש"פ
Happy Independence Day to the State of Israel E-mail

This year’s Israel Independence Day Yom Ha’Atzmaut, will celebrate the 71st anniversary of the State of Israel. The official national ceremony will be held on the eve of 8 May on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, immediately after Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers Yom Hazikaron.

The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence — the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. The official “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’Atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in which the flag is raised from half staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will deliver a speech of congratulations, and soldiers representing the Army, Navy and Air Force parade with their flags, followed by a torch lighting (hadlakat masuot) ceremony, which marks the country’s achievements in all spheres of life. The ceremony also includes a speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, artistic performances, and the ceremonial lighting of 12 torches, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.

Israel’s National Day on 9 May is filled with festivities and celebrations, including parades, picnics and hikes, barbecues, family gatherings and nature trips. Many partake in Israeli folk dancing and singing Israeli songs. Balconies, car windows, store fronts and more are liberally decorated with Israeli flags.

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