From Academic Kids
Yom Ha-Atzmaut is Israel's independence day. It falls on the 5th of the Jewish lunar month Iyyar. It celebrates the declaration of the state of Israel by David Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948, and the end of the British Mandate in Israel.
Yom Ha'atzma'ut falls on the 5th day of Iyar ( ה' באייר) on the Hebrew calendar. When the 5th of Iyar falls on a Friday or Saturday, as in 2005, the official celebration may be moved to the preceding Thursday. The Gregorian date for the day in which Israel independence was proclaimed is May 14th, 1948 when David ben Gurion publicly read the Proclamation of the establishment of the State of Israel.
An official ceremony is held every year on Mount Herzl on the eve of Yom Ha'atzma'ut. The ceremony include speeches from senior Israeli officials, an artistic part, a ritual march of soldiers carrying the Flag of Israel, forming elaborate structures (such as a Menorah, Magen David and a number which represents the age of Israel) and the lighting of twelve beacons (each for every one of the Tribes of Israel). Every year a dozen Israeli citizens, who made a significant contribution in a selected area, are invited to light the beacons.
Other traditional events of Yom Ha'atzma'ut:
- The International Bible Trivia Quiz חידון התנ"ך העולמי.
- Israel Prize ceremony טקס חלוקת פרס ישראל.
Gregorian dates for Yom Ha'atzma'ut:
- May 12, 2005 (Thursday)
- May 3, 2006 (Wednesday)
- April 23, 2007 (Monday)
- May 8, 2008 (Thursday)
- April 29, 2009 (Wednesday)
New Israeli/Jewish holidays
Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has established four new Jewish holidays.
- Yom Ha'Shoah - Holocaust Remembrance day
- Yom Hazikaron - Memorial Day
- Yom Ha'atzma'ut - Israel Independence Day
- Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Day
These four days are national holidays in the State of Israel, and have since been accepted as religious holidays in general by the following groups: The Union of Orthodox Congregations and Rabbinical Council of America; The United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (United Kingdom); The Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel; All of Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism; The Union for Traditional Judaism and the Reconstructionist movement.
The specific ritual involved in observance of this day is a matter of controversy. The Cheif Rabbinate as weel as all Religious authohroities have declared that Yom Ha-Atzmaut is one of the Jewish Holidays in which Hallel should be said. This view has, however, been rejected by the majority of Orthodox Jewish halachic decisors.. Some Jewish groups affiliated with anti-zionism specifically mourn this day.
The common tradition of many Israeli's on this day is to meet for 'Mangal' - Roasting meat on an open Grill.
- Yom Haatzmaut (http://www.zipple.com/holidays/yomhaatzmaut.shtml)