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Tel Aviv Events

Purim

A day of fancy dress and mini carnivals, Purim commemorates events in ancient Persia, in which an attempt to kill the Jews was decisively overturned. The story is told in the Book of Esther, still read in synagogues on this day. Celebrations involve giving gifts and all manner of zaniness, including cross-dressing. This is the one day of the year on which religious Jews are encouraged to get drunk and act the fool.

Date: 28 February 2018 - 01 March 2018
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Throughout the city.
Cost:

Free.


Pesach (Passover)

The year’s biggest Jewish festival, Pesach, starts with 'Seder Night,' a festive meal when friends and family get together to read through the story of the Exodus and eat ritual foods. Nothing 'leavened' is allowed all week, including bread and beer. The first and last days are national holidays, so many shops and business are shut.

Date: 30 March 2018 - 07 April 2018
Venue: Throughout the city.
Cost:

Free.


Israel Independence Day (“Yom Ha’atzmaut”)

Israel Independence Day, or Yom Ha’atzmaut, celebrates the declaration of the State of Israel with concerts and picnics. Grand official events are broadcast live and a big fireworks display explodes over Rabin Square. It is also a convivial occasion for family and friends to party together. Expect to see plenty of blue-and-white decorations everywhere. The day before is the sombre Yom Hazikaron, in memory of fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks.

Date: 18 April 2018 - 19 August 2018
Venue: Throughout the city.
Website: http://www.knesset.gov.il/holidays/eng/independence_day.htm
Cost:

Free.


Tel Aviv Pride

Israel's biggest, loudest and most ostentatious gay celebration rivals any in the entire world. As the locals say: Tel Aviv doesn’t have a gay neighbourhood, because the gay population is widespread. Officially opened by the mayor of Tel Aviv, this huge parade of brilliant colour, exuberance, noise and raunchy costume (plus plenty of bare flesh) winds through city centre streets and down to the beach in celebration of sexual freedom.

Date: 08 June 2018 - 08 June 2018
Venue: Centre city and waterfront.
Cost:

Free.


Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

Israel’s two-day New Year celebration is a family holiday complete with gift giving. The year starts with a festive evening meal, followed, for many, by synagogue in the morning. ‘Sweetness’ is a running theme through the holiday and key foods include apples in honey and honey cake. In Tel Aviv, many shops and restaurants remain open throughout the holiday.

Date: 09 September 2018 - 11 September 2018
Cost:

Free.


Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

For one week, locals erect colourful little shelters called sukkot. These outdoor huts supposedly recall the simple shelters erected by Jews in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Some are big, some tiny, and it’s a religious commandment that Jews should ‘dwell’ in their sukkah. That’s usually taken to mean eating and relaxing in it, though some people do sleep in them. Tel Aviv’s sukkahs host a series of cool events featuring art, music and sports around the city.

Date: 23 September 2018 - 30 September 2018
Venue: Throughout the city.
Cost:

Free.


Tel Aviv Jazz Festival

One of Israel’s top jazz events, Tel Aviv’s long-established annual festival draws international performers and audiences as well as Israeli musicians. The festival emphasises a particular style or country each year, but always covers the spectrum of jazz from traditional to modern, newcomers to veterans, and encompasses jazz-influenced world music and other genres. The festival also provides a platform for original and creative new talent.

Date: 01 November 2018 - 01 December 2018
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
Cost:

Some are free; others cost.


Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)

In homes, workplaces and in the street, hanukkiot candelabras are lit in the evening with one extra candle each night for a week. Hanukkah (also spelt Chanucah) is sometimes compared to Christmas, but Hanukkah is relatively uncommercial. It’s a happy, child-oriented time with low-key gift-giving, traditional games, traditional songs and traditional foods, especially latkes (fried potato patties) and suvganiot (sugar doughnuts).

Date: 02 December 2018 - 10 December 2018
Venue: Throughout the city.
Cost:

Free.


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