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Holidays in Israel

Quick Overview

The Hebrew calendar is full of holidays. Most of them were mentioned in the bible, and some are national holidays with shorter history, such as the memorial days and independence day.


Saturdays and Holidays in Israel


Weekends in Israel are shorter than in other countries, as Sunday is a working day. The Israeli weekend begins at Friday afternoon, then most of the shops are closing up and the public transportation stops.


The weekend in Israel ends at Saturday evening. The shops open up again, and public transportation operates until midnight. However, in most cities there are share taxis (called “sherut”) which go on working through the weekend.


At the entrance of the central bus station in Tel Aviv, there are quite a lot of share taxis which could take you almost to any destination, night or day.


Friday's rules are applied to the holiday's eve as well. Therefore, when a holiday's eve falls on a Wednesday, the Israelis get a double weekend. During holidays which are a week long, such as Channuka, Sukkoth and Passover, businesses work as usual, except for the holiday's eve.


Despite the fact that most businesses are closed during Saturdays and holidays, the entertainment venues, restaurants, coffee shops and bars stay open. In addition, many business owners in the big cities, choose to operate during the weekend. Kiosks and supermarkets, automatic laundromats, pharmacies, vet clinics and many more stay open during the weekend in the big cities.


In religious cities and neighborhoods, such as Jerusalem, all businesses close up at Friday afternoon, and re-open on Saturday evening. Therefore, the Saturday nightlife scene in Jerusalem is especially vibrant and worth a visit. On Friday nights, it is best advised to hang out in Tel Aviv or any other big city.


Yom Kippur in Israel, Memorial days and Tisha Be'Av

Holocaust day, memorial day and Tisha Be'Av commemorate disasters which occurred to the Jewish people throughout the history. On the night before, all entertainment venues are closed, in addition to the kiosks and supermarkets which are usually open 24 hours a day. Public transportation operates as usual.


Yom Kippur in Israel is a unique phenomena. In addition to closing all businesses as well as the public transportation, driving in Yom Kippur is forbidden. Therefore, every year the roads and highways become empty of cars. All shops (with no exceptions) are closed, and Israelis of all ages ride bicycles or just stroll in large groups on the roads.



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