Growing up, you might have celebrated Sukkot by going to your family, friends’, or synagogue’s sukkah, shaking the lulav and etrog, and eating outside under the stars. But if you are spending this Sukkot in Israel, there’s no reason to stay confined to your backyard—use the whole country as your sukkah! With all of the festivals going on during the chag, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to spend time outside, exploring Israel’s cultural scene while celebrating the holiday.
Here are some of the bigger festivals going on during Sukkot:
October 13-22, 2011 | Haifa
The Haifa International Film Festival, the leading cinematic even in Israel, was founded in 1983 as the first international film festival in the country. Growing steadily in both the number of screenings and attendance, The Haifa Film Festival has earned a world-wide reputation for both the quality of its program and the friendly atmosphere.The Haifa Film Festival is held on the beautiful Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The festival brings together each year an ever-growing audience of 70,000 spectators along with hundreds of Israeli and foreign professionals from the film and television industries and premiers some 170 new films (280 screenings). 300,000 people in total take part in the activities of the festival, including the outdoor events, screenings, workshops and more, and dozens of journalists from both the print and broadcast media, from Israel and abroad, cover the event.
October 14-18, 2011 | Netanya
Highest level concerts - International competition - International youth competition - Lectures Master classes - Excursion program - Guitars, scores, equipment, CDs – exhibition & sales, and more.
October 15-10 2011 | (02) 623-7000 | Masada, Ein Gedi, and Nahal Zohar
The four-day festival offers a multisensory experience of music, freedom, nature and attractions and drawsand varied audiences from all over Israel every year. Performances this year include Ehud Banai,
Mosh Ben Ari, Infected Mushroom, Aviv Geffen, and more.
October 16-18, 2011 | Acco
Probably the largest festival during Sukkot will be the 31st annual Israeli Fringe Theater Festival in Acco. The 65 shows, featuring about 300 artists from Israel and abroad, will include theater shows, street performances, cabaret shows, concerts, art fairs, exhibits and more. The festival attempts to expose the natural beauty of Acco through its outdoor shows and street plays, which will take place around the old city, historical sites and streets and the city’s port. This festival also brings together artists from various cultural backgrounds, reflecting the multicultural aspect of the city, and creates a dialogue through discussion panels and other activities.
October 16-18, 2011 | Rehovot
The Weitzmann Institute Science Festival is a yearly fiesta of science and technology. Visitors can enjoy various competitions, workshops, interesting demonstrations, and tours.
October 16-18, 2011 | Mivtzar Yehiyam
Mivtzar Yehiyam will showcase its annual Renaissance Festival, celebrating the Renaissance era through music and art that reflects the revolutionary culture of the period. Artists include musicians from Israel, Hungary, France and Germany. The festival will also feature an “artisants street” with blacksmiths, carpenters and other artisans reenacting the various occupations of the time.
In addition to the variety of events going on throughout the country, Sukkot is traditionally one of the three times each year Jews would make a pilgrimage to the Temple. This this is still practiced, to an extent, with people coming to Israel from all over the world to visit the Western Wall, so head over to the Kotel during the chag for another only-in-Israel experience.
What else will you be doing over Sukkot?