Memorial days – when the country stops for a minute and remember

The Holocaust Memorial day in Israel

Israel has its own holocaust memorial day. The international memorial day of the UN and the EU is on the 27th of January and is actually barely known in Israel. In Israel, the day is happening around April/may 8 days after Passover is over, it’s a week before independence day.

At the beginning, they wanted to set the date for the Warsaw ghetto rebellion, but the rebellion happened at Passover which is not suitable for a memorial day.  they decided to choose a date which is 8 days after Passover and a week before independence day.

The date represents a time which also refers to the people of Israel going out of slavery in Passover to be a free nation on the day of independence.

The memorial starts in the evening. Everything will be closed. In the next morning at 10:00 there will be a siren for 3 minutes. Shops will be closed and there will be ceremonies around the country and in schools.

 

Independence and Memorial Day - A sharp transition

Mount Herzl ceremony. Photo by By [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Memorial day

In Israel, they chose to put the soldiers memorial day a day before the Independence Day. It was chosen as a symbol for the sacrifice of the soldiers in order to maintain this state in this tough neighborhood under all the threats.

It's not a Jewish holiday but it goes by the Jewish calendar so the Memorial Day will start at the evening.
Around 20:00 there will be a siren in the memorial of the fallen soldiers and the terror attack victims. It's not a "holy" but

It's not a "holy" but still, shops and restaurants will be closed. Public transportation operates noramly. In the day after people will visit military cemeteries and there will be another siren at 11:00.

If you are in Jerusalem during this day I will recommend visiting the military cemetery in mount Herzl to see how the locals experience this day.

In the day after people will visit military cemeteries and there will be another siren at 11:00. During this day people will hang the Israeli flags on their windows and on their cars. The television will be full of special shows and documentaries.

in the evening, as the sun sets Independence Day starts.

 

Independence day

And from a sad official atmosphere, it becomes a crazy party atmosphere. For some people, this sharp transition is very hard.
Imagine being in the military cemetery in the morning, visiting a grave of someone you knew, and in the evening go to a street party drinking and dancing. But that was the whole point of why it was chosen to be like that…

On the independence day the evening there are usually a lot of big street parties. Tel Aviv is the most recommended place to experience that I think. Mainly in Florentin neighborhood.

In the day itself, people will usually go to the parks around to have a BBQ with friends and family.

Sirens

NOTE: On this day there will be sirens. Once in the evening and one in the morning. Don’t mistake it with an emergency situation.
During the siren, people will stand still and will take a couple of minutes to show respect to the fallen ones. Literally, everyone on the street will stop. Workers will stop their jobs and stand. Even cars on the highways will pull aside and the drivers will stand next to them.
It’s a moment of unity between the whole nation.
to ignore the siren is seen as very disrespectful.

 

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