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Yom HaAtzmaut in United Kingdom

Many Jewish people in the United Kingdom remember Israel’s Independence Day, also known as Yom Ha’Atzmaut (or Yom HaAtzmaut). Celebrations are annually held on or around the fifth day of the month of Iyar, according to the Jewish calendar.

Israeli flags
Israeli flags are often seen at Yom Ha'Atzmaut events.
Israeli flags are often seen at Yom Ha'Atzmaut events.
©iStockphoto.com/khrolenok

What Do People Do?

Special matinee shows are held in some parts of the United Kingdom to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Some events include dance demonstrations or choir performances, as well as speeches by leaders within the Jewish communities.

Dance parties or club nights to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut are also held, particularly for young adults. They are often themed in blue and white to honor the colors on Israel’s flag and feature modern pop music, particularly songs from Israel. Some dance parties may showcase special guest DJs while others may include charity raffles where the proceeds go towards humanitarian or environmental causes in Israel.

Public Life

Yom Ha’Atzmaut is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

Background

Many Jewish people in the United Kingdom celebrate Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. It commemorates when David Ben-Gurion, who was Israel’s first prime minister, publicly read the Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. According to the Jewish calendar, this was the fifth day of Iyar, the eighth month of the civil year, in the year 5708.

According to the Jewish calendar, the fifth day of the month of Iyar cannot fall on a Sunday. If this date falls on a Friday or Saturday, Yom Ha'Atzmaut is observed on the third or fourth day of the month. If the date falls on a Monday, it is observed on the sixth day of Iyar. This is so that the festivities do not fall just before, on, or just after the Sabbath.

Symbols

Israel’s flag is often the most prominent symbol seen at events that celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. This flag comes in the shape of a white rectangle in the ratio 11:8 with two horizontal blue stripes, one at the top and one at the bottom. A regular hexagram, known as the Star of David, or Megan David, is depicted in blue between the stripes.

About Yom HaAtzmaut in other countries

Read more about Yom HaAtzmaut.

Yom HaAtzmaut Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
TueApr 202010Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
TueMay 102011Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
ThuApr 262012Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
TueApr 162013Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
TueMay 62014Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
ThuApr 232015Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
ThuMay 122016Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
TueMay 22017Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
ThuApr 192018Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
ThuMay 92019Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 
WedApr 292020Yom HaAtzmautJewish holiday 

Quick Facts

Many Jewish communities in the United Kingdom celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, which is Israel’s Independence Day, on the fifth day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar.

Yom HaAtzmaut 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Yom HaAtzmaut 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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Yom HaAtzmaut
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2017 in United Kingdom

Fun Holidays on May 12, 2017

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