Dates of Jewish Holidays and Official Israel Holidays

Israel observes the dates of Jewish holidays plus a few more recent national ones as official Israel holidays.

The official day of rest is the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at nightfall on Friday and ends after dark on Saturday night.

In addition, Jerusalem observes the following holidays:


The Jewish day begins at sunset. Thus, please note that the dates of Jewish holidays listed below are for the daytime - observance of the holidays actually begins the evening before the given dates.

For example, observance of Yom Kippur, listed below on October 4, 2014, will actually begin an hour before sundown on October 3, 2014.

Dates of Jewish Holidays and Official Israel Holidays

2014

2015


Shushan Purim – this joyous religious Jewish holiday is not an official holiday, although most people take the day off. In the rest of Israel and the world, the holiday of Purim is celebrated the day before. However, cities that were walled at the time of the Purim miracle celebrate Shushan Purim. Jerusalem is one of the few places able to celebrate Shushan Purim. Public transportation is available but traffic – both vehicular and pedestrian – is a nightmare: everyone is out in the streets!


March 17


March 6


Passover – The first and last day of the week of Passover are official holidays. Most government offices may also be closed or operating only half days during the intervening days, a period known as Chol Hamo’ed (*see below).


April 15 - 21


April 4 - 11


Yom Hasho’ah - Holocaust Remembrance Day


April 28


April 16


Yom Hazikaron – Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers


May 5


April 22


Israel Independence Day


May 6


April 23


Jerusalem Day – commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967


May 28


May 17


Shavuot - the Festival of Weeks


June 4


May 24


Tisha B’Av – This is a day of fasting and mourning for the destruction of both the First and the Second Temples. Transportation is available and many stores are open, especially in the afternoon.


August 5


July 26


Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish new year. This is a two day holiday. No transportation, businesses and government offices closed.


September

5-6


September

14-15


Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. The country pretty much comes to a standstill. Everything is closed, no transportation.


October 4


September 23


Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles. The first and last days of this eight-day holiday are official holidays. Most government offices may also be closed or operating only half days during the intervening days, a period known as *Chol Hamo’ed.


October
9 - 16


September 28 - October 5


Channukah – Although a week-long holiday, businesses are open. In religious areas, they may close slightly earlier in the evening.


December
17 - 24


December
7 - 14

What to Expect on Dates of Jewish Holidays

On the dates of Jewish holidays, be they the Sabbath or official religious holidays, expect most establishments to be closed and transportation to be scarce in western Jerusalem.

Public buses stop running an hour before the start of the Sabbath or holiday, as do many taxi services.

On national holidays - as opposed to religious ones - transportation is usually available, although businesses may be closed.

gold menorah in Jerusalem

 * During Chol Hamo’ed, the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot, public transportation is available. Businesses may or may not be open and most government offices are closed. This is when tourist attractions do a booming business from vacationing Israelis, however, so be aware that most historical sites, museums and public parks will be very crowded.


> > Dates of Jewish Holidays


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