The holiday of Shavuot is here once again (officially May 14-15) and we’ve come up with TEN ways to really enjoy the holiday!
Just so you know, most Israelis will be on holiday for this two day holiday (and many will take additional days off), so many tourist spots will be fairly packed.
Ideally, you’ll eat some amazing cheesecake and stuff yourself silly with dairy products, as this is what Shavuot is traditionally about, but here we’ve listed some great alternative ways to get the most out of your Shavuot experience…
Head to a Kibbutz or Moshav!
For the ultimate Shavuot experience we highly recommend you head to a Kibbutz or Moshav, especially one that traditionally holds special events for the holiday.
Don’t be surprised to see dancing tractors, prancing farmers, and plenty of beautiful kids dressed up in white holding baskets of flowers! Great fun for all the family and for an insight into life and festivities in some of Israel’s friendliest communities. Read more here.
Ein Gev Shavuot Festival
One of our fave spots in the north, Ein Gev (read our full guide to Ein Gev), will be hosting some special Shavuot events over 15-18 May. Sail on the Sea of Galilee in specially decorated boats, get the kids to create something at Saba Yossi’s Carpentry shop, and enjoy a special festive meal at their legendary fish restaurant. For more details, call 04-6658008 or check out their Facebook page.
Indigo Festival on the Sea of Galilee
The annual Indigo Festival on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is a huge dance fest for those of you into your hardcore electronic beats. Head to the Golan Beach on 16-18 May, where you can also enjoy performances by Bary Sacharov and Yemen Blues, plus numerous DJ sets. There are also great family and camping facilities. Tickets cost 290-340 shekels for the three days. Click here for a slice of the festival action…
Milk and Honey Festival in the Yezreel Valley
The annual Milk and Honey Festival is a great festive occasion for lovers of Israeli music, with festivals throughout the Yezreel Valley. Expect to see legendary Israeli band Tislam at Nahalal Amphitheater, public singalongs with Einat Sirouf, and plenty of agriculturally friendly exhibitions and events. Call 04-6040575, 04-6220066 or 04-8418411 for more details.
Opening Ceremony at the new First Station in Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s newest tourist attraction – the revitalized original railway station – holds a festive pre-Shavuot event will take place on Tuesday May 14, and which will be the official grand opening of the station for Jerusalem residents. This place looks like becoming a BIG tourist hot spot in the years to come! Read more here.
Abu Gosh Festival
This bi-annual festival is pure paradise for lovers of vocal music, and has now evolved into one of Israel’s premier festivals over the last 20 years or so. The festival takes place 14-18 May in two churches in Abu Gosh (just outside Jerusalem). Read more about the Abu Gosh Festival, or click here for the full festival schedule.
King Herod Exhibition at the Israel Museum
The must-see exhibition of 2013 is the King Herod Exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It’s already been packing the crowds in, so go get some! There are over 250 archaeological treasures on display, many of which were unearthed during recent digs in Herodium, Jericho, and other sites. Read more here.
Head to the Beach
With mid-May meaning typically hot sunny days, the beach could be the perfect place to while away a few hours. Great fun for all the family too.
Check out our guide to the very best beaches in Israel before you head out, there are some real beauties! But don’t forget the sunscreen and plenty of drinking water…
Haifolk – Haifa’s Indie Music Festival
The Haifa Indie Music Festival is a great off-the-beaten-track festival for music lovers, located in some great little pubs in Downtown Haifa. This year expect to see some great indie talent, including Eran Tzur, Oren Barzilai, Beni Bashan, and Efrat Ben Tzur among others. Read more here.
Metulla’s Poetry Festival
Located in Metulla, Israel’s most northern town, the annual Poetry Festival (now in its 16th year) taking place over 13-16 May is a great place to catch some unique music and poetry. Tickets cost between 40-140 shekels. Expect to catch some big names there too, including Eran Tzur, Etti Ankri, and the legendary Shalom Hanoch. Read more here.