Public Holidays

Public holidays in Israel

The population of Israel is predominantly Jewish and one of the two national languages is Hebrew. Even though Judaism does not have the status of an official state religion, the vast majority of holidays are Jewish.

Holidays of other religions are hardly found in the calendar and all occasions are based on the Hebrew calendar system. This is based on lunar cycles and therefore differs significantly from the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the dates of Jewish holidays also vary each year compared to the standard international calendar.

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List of holidays in Israel

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

HolidayLocal name20232024202520262027
New year festival of trees and bushesTu biSchevatFeb. 6thJan. 25thFeb. 13thFeb. 2ndJan. 23rd
Fast of EstherTa'anit EstherMarch 6thFeb. 22ndMarch 13thMarch 2ndFeb. 20th
Salvation from PersiaPurimMarch 7thFeb. 23rdMarch 14thMarch 3rdFeb. 21st
Exodus from EgyptPessachApril 6thApril 23rdApril 13thApril 2ndApril 22nd
Exodus from Egypt (day 2)Pessach (2)April 7thApril 24thApril 14thApril 3rdApril 23rd
Exodus from Egypt (day 3)Pessach (3)April 8thApril 25thApril 15thApril 4thApril 24th
Exodus from Egypt (day 4)Pessach (4)April 9thApril 26thApril 16thApril 5thApril 25th
Exodus from Egypt (day 5)Pessach (5)April 10thApril 27thApril 17thApril 6thApril 26th
Exodus from Egypt (day 6)Pessach (6)April 11thApril 28thApril 18thApril 7thApril 27th
Exodus from Egypt (day 7)Pessach (7)April 12thApril 29thApril 19thApril 8thApril 28th
Holocaust Memorial DayJom haScho'aApril 17thMay 4thApril 24thApril 13thMay 3rd
Memorial Day of Israeli soldiersJom haZikaronApril 23rdMay 10thApril 30thApril 19thMay 9th
Independence DayJom haAtzma'utApril 24thMay 11thMay 1stApril 20thMay 10th
Bar Kochba uprisingLag baOmerMay 9thMay 26thMay 16thMay 5thMay 25th
ThanksgivingSchawuotMay 26thJune 12thJune 2ndMay 22ndJune 11th
Thanksgiving (day 2)Schawuot (2)May 27thJune 13thJune 3rdMay 23rdJune 12th
Destruction of the Temple in JerusalemTischa beAvJuly 27thAug. 13thAug. 3rdJuly 23rdAug. 12th
Victory of the Pharisees over the SadduceesTu B’AvAug. 2ndAug. 19thAug. 9thJuly 29thAug. 18th
Jewish New YearRosch ha-SchanaSept. 16thOct. 3rdSept. 23rdSept. 12thOct. 2nd
2nd New Year's DayRosch ha-Schana (2)Sept. 17thOct. 4thSept. 24thSept. 13thOct. 3rd
Day of AtonementJom KippurSept. 25thOct. 12thOct. 2ndSept. 21stOct. 11th
Feast of TabernaclesSukkotSept. 30thOct. 17thOct. 7thSept. 26thOct. 16th
Feast of Tabernacles (day 2)Sukkot (2)Oct. 1stOct. 18thOct. 8thSept. 27thOct. 17th
Feast of Tabernacles (day 3)Sukkot (3)Oct. 2ndOct. 19thOct. 9thSept. 28thOct. 18th
Feast of Tabernacles (day 4)Sukkot (4)Oct. 3rdOct. 20thOct. 10thSept. 29thOct. 19th
Feast of Tabernacles (day 5)Sukkot (5)Oct. 4thOct. 21stOct. 11thSept. 30thOct. 20th
Feast of Tabernacles (day 6)Sukkot (6)Oct. 5thOct. 22ndOct. 12thOct. 1stOct. 21st
Feast of Tabernacles + Palm FestivalSukkot + Hoschana RabbaOct. 6thOct. 23rdOct. 13thOct. 2ndOct. 22nd
Eighth day of AssemblySchmini AzeretOct. 7thOct. 24thOct. 14thOct. 3rdOct. 23rd
Rejoicing of the TorahSimchat ToraOct. 8thOct. 25thOct. 15thOct. 4thOct. 24th
Entry into IsraelYom HaAliyahOct. 22ndNov. 8thOct. 29thOct. 18thNov. 7th
Festival of LightsChanukkaDec. 8thDec. 26thDec. 15thDec. 5thDec. 25th
Festival of Lights (day 2)Chanukka (2)Dec. 9thDec. 27thDec. 16thDec. 6thDec. 26th
Festival of Lights (day 3)Chanukka (3)Dec. 10thDec. 28thDec. 17thDec. 7thDec. 27th
Festival of Lights (day 4)Chanukka (4)Dec. 11thDec. 29thDec. 18thDec. 8thDec. 28th
Festival of Lights (day 5)Chanukka (5)Dec. 12thDec. 30thDec. 19thDec. 9thDec. 29th
Festival of Lights (day 6)Chanukka (6) + Rosch ChodeschDec. 13thDec. 31stDec. 20thDec. 10thDec. 30th
Festival of Lights (day 7)Chanukka (7)Dec. 13thJan. 1stJan. 1stDec. 11thDec. 31st
Festival of Lights (day 8)Chanukka (8)Dec. 14thJan. 1stJan. 2ndDec. 12thJan. 1st

One of the most important holidays is Yom haAtzma'ut, Israel's Independence Day. This festive occasion commemorates the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and is celebrated with lively ceremonies, parades and fireworks.

Other important holidays include Rosh ha-Shanah (Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot, the week-long Feast of Tabernacles. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated on 8 days, although none of these days is a public holiday. The Exodus from Egypt (Passover) is also celebrated on 8 days, the first day being a national holiday. These holidays are of great religious and cultural significance to the Jewish population and are usually celebrated with special prayers, rituals, family gatherings and festive meals.

In addition to Jewish holidays, Israel also has several national holidays. These include Yom haScho'a (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom haZikaron as a day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism, and Yom HaAliyah, Aliyah Day, which commemorates Jewish immigration to Israel.

Certain restrictions often apply on religious holidays, such as transportation restrictions and the closing of businesses and government offices. Jewish holidays in particular are celebrated throughout the country.

The Hebrew Calendar

Public Holidays The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar used primarily to determine the dates of Jewish holidays and religious observances. Compared to other calendar systems, it has a unique structure that combines both lunar and solar elements.

Months are always based on the new moon. However, to align the lunar months with the solar year, which is approximately 365.25 days long, the Hebrew calendar adds an extra month in leap years known as Adar II. This ensures that the calendar remains synchronized with the agricultural seasons.

Naming of the months in the Hebrew calendar:

  1. Nissan
  2. Ijar
  3. Sivan
  4. Tammuz
  5. Av
  6. Elul
  7. Tishrei
  8. Cheshvan (or Marcheshvan)
  9. Kislev
  10. Zwet
  11. Shevat
  12. Adar (or Adar I in leap years) and Adar II (in leap years)
The Hebrew calendar also establishes specific days of the week for the weekly day of rest, "Shabbat," with Saturday being celebrated as Shabbat.

The year count in the Hebrew calendar is based on the traditional calculation since the creation of the world, with the current year being 5783. However, in everyday life, dates according to the international Gregorian calendar system are often used in addition to the Hebrew calendar.

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