Yom HaAtzmaut

May 9, 2019

Yom HaAtzmaut (יום העצמאות‎) commemorates the declaration of independence of Israel in 1948.  An official ceremony is held annually on the eve of Yom Ha'atzmaut at Mount Herzl.  The ceremony includes speeches by senior Israeli officials, an artistic presentation, a ritual march of flag-carrying soldiers forming elaborate structures (such as a Menorah, a Magen David, and the number which represents the age of the State of Israel), and the lighting of twelve beacons (one for each of the Tribes of Israel).  Dozens of Israeli citizens, who contributed significantly to the state, are selected to light these beacons.

Although Yom HaAtzma'ut is normally observed on the 5th of Iyyar, it may be moved earlier or postponed if observance of the holiday (or Yom HaZikaron, which always precedes it) would conflict with Shabbat.