Customs for Independence Day – Part One

On May 14th, 1948 the Jewish state was established. Every year ever since on the Hebrew date, the fifth day of the month of Iyyar-ה באייר – the streets of Israel are filled with all kinds of celebrations and joyous customs.

By learning some of them you will be able also to pronounce new words in Hebrew that are related to this day – יוֹם הָעַצְמָאוּת- Yom Ha-‘atsma’ut – Independence Day.

When the Jewish State celebrated its tenth year of independence, each city came alive with stages for entertainment called “Bamot Biddur”- במות בידור. Every year, the best singers in Israel are moved from one stage to another, singing their greatest hits to the crowd that has gathered to hear them sing and to watch the fireworks- זיקוקי די-נור- zikukey di-nur.


This word actually has Aramaic roots, since “nur” means fire in Aramaic.
Everyone gets out and about on Independence Day. You’re likely to encounter a lot of traffic jams –Peqaq Te’nu’ah-פְּקַק תְּנוּעָה, On Yom Ha’atsma’ut, many Israelis love to have picnics in National Parks, cooking up a big BBQ – Mangal- מַנְגָּל- with their friends.

In our next article we will learn what happens at synagogues and in homes on this special day!

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