Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day) Date in the current year: May 13, 2016

Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day) Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day) is the national day of Israel celebrated on the 5th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. This holiday commemorates the Israeli Declaration of Independence by David Ben-Gurion in 1948.

The establishment of the State of Israel was declared on 14 May 1948 (5th of Iyar, 5708), eight hours before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. Thus, the 5th of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar is celebrated as the Independence Day of Israel. Every year it occurs on a different day in the Gregorian calendar.

The observance of this day begins on the Yom Ha'atzmaut eve by the official ceremony that takes place on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem and is broadcast live on TV. Public commemoration of the holiday includes official reception in the President's residence, Israel Prise ceremony, and International Bible Contest. Israel Defense Forces parade used to take place on this day but it was canceled due to financial concerns in 1973.

Israeli families celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut with barbecues and picnics. People decorate their balconies with Israeli flags and attach small flags to car windows. Some flags are left hoisted until Jerusalem Day celebrated on the 28th of Iyar. Many cities hold outdoor performances dedicated to Independence Day. Though this is a secular holiday, some (but not all) religious communities have changed the liturgy in its honor.

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Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, public holidays, state holidays, national day of Israel