Israel Holidays 2023/2024, A Full List Is Here!

Israel Holidays 2023/2024, A Full List Is Here!

By Ruby Zhao | Updated Sep. 28, 2023

Each year, Israel has nine national public holidays enjoyed throughout the country. Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are the two biggest holidays in Israel.

  • Sabbath: every Friday/Saturday (sundown to sundown)
  • Yom Ha'Aliyah (Aliyah Day): in March or April
  • Passover (Pesach): in March or April
  • Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day): in April or May
  • Shavuot (Feast of Weeks): in May or June
  • Rosh Ha'Shanah (Jewish New Year): in September or October
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): in September or October
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles): in September or October
  • Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah): in September or October

The dates of Israel's holidays/festivals are determined based on the Hebrew calendar, whose days start from nightfall (sunset) and end at nightfall. Thus, festival times in Israel start from an evening (after sundown) and end on the following nightfall.

The dates change every year on the Gregorian calendar, within a lunar month period, as the Hebrew calendar is lunisolar.

If you visit Israel during some of these public holidays, your travel might be affected by many businesses being closed. However, traveling during a festival period is also a good opportunity to closely encounter authentic local culture. Read on to get to know each festival and travel tips.

Israel Holidays and Festivals in 2023

Israel Festival Festival Dates
Public Holidays
Sabbath Every Friday–Saturday Every Saturday (businesses closed)
Yom Ha'Aliyah (Aliyah Day) March 31 – April 1 April 1st (business as usual)
Passover (Pesach) April 5–12 April 6th and 12th (Jewish-owned businesses closed or on reduced hours)
Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day) April 25–26 April 26th (business as usual)
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) May 25–26 May 26th (businesses closed)
Rosh Ha'Shanah (Jewish New Year) September 15–17 September 16th and 17th (businesses closed)
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) September 24–25 September 25th (businesses closed)
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) September 29 – October 6 October 6th (Jewish-owned businesses closed)
Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah) October 6–7 October 7th (businesses closed or on reduced hours)

Israel Festivals/Holidays 2024

Israel Festivals Festival Dates
Public Holidays
Sabbath Every Friday–Saturday Every Saturday (businesses closed)
Yom Ha'Aliyah (Aliyah Day) April 17–18 April 18th (business as usual)
Passover (Pesach) April 22–29 April 23rd and 29th (Jewish-owned businesses closed or on reduced hours)
Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day) May 13–14 May 14th (business as usual)
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) June 11–12 June 12th (businesses closed)
Rosh Ha'Shanah (Jewish New Year) October 2–4 October 3rd and 4th (businesses closed)
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) October 11–12 October 12th (businesses closed)
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) October 16–23 October 23rd (Jewish-owned businesses closed)
Simchat Torah (Rejoicing of the Torah) October 23–24 October 24th (businesses closed or on reduced schedule)


Lighting the candles for Jewish SabbathLighting the candles for Jewish Sabbath
  • Dates: Every Friday nightfall to Saturday nightfall

Sabbath respects the seventh day, when God took a day to rest after creating for 6 days. In the biblical account, the first day of the first week was Sunday (from Saturday evening to sundown on Sunday) and the seventh day was from Friday evening to Saturday sunset.

Jewish people celebrate Sabbath to demonstrate their covenant relationship with God. Sabbath rest is considered a gift from God.

During Sabbath, all "creative" and "productive" activities like cooking, writing, using electronic devices, driving, and taking public transportation are prohibited. It's a time for Jewish people to rest, get together with family and friends, read from the Torah, recite special prayers in synagogues, etc.

Travel tip: During Sabbath, nearly all public transportation and most retailers are closed. Some non-Jewish retailers and most non-kosher restaurants are still open.

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Yom Ha'Aliyah (Aliyah Day)

Israel flagIsrael flag
  • Yom Ha'Aliyah 2023: evening of March 31st – sundown on April 1st
  • Yom Ha'Aliyah 2024: evening of April 17th – sundown on April 18th

Aliyah means 'ascent' (towards Jerusalem, the holy city on Mount Zion) and is now used to refer to the immigration of Jewish people to the State of Israel. Yom Ha'Aliyah (Aliyah Day) commemorates the date of original entry of the Jewish people into Israel (then Canaan, the promised land), and is used to recognize the contribution of Jewish people to Israeli society and to encourage more Aliyah.

During Yom Ha'Aliyah, many cities and towns, especially areas with a high concentration of immigrants, are full of a pleasant festive atmosphere with music, dance, food, and other joyful entertainments.

Travel tip: Businesses are not mandatorily closed for Yom Ha'Aliyah. But you might meet some restaurants/organizations that choose to reduce their service hours to celebrate the holiday.

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Passover (Pesach)

Passover (Pesach)Orthodox religious Jews and tourists on the Wailing Wall during the Jewish Pesach Passover.
  • Passover 2023: evening of April 5th – sundown on April 12th
  • Passover 2024: evening of April 22nd – sundown on April 29th

Passover is a Jewish holiday to celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt under the rule of Pharaoh. The celebrations last for 7 days in Israel, with the first Hebrew calendar day and the last being national public holidays.

Holding a Seder (a special meal) is the most important activity during Passover. It includes telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt, eating unleavened bread (while standing to recreate the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt), and drinking four cups of wine (representing the four promises of redemption mentioned in the Torah). Singing traditional songs and reading prayers are also widely done.

Travel tip: Businesses are not mandatorily closed. However, on the first and last day of Passover, many Jewish-owned businesses choose to close or provide service for reduced hours.

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Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day)

Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Independence Day)The patriotic girls wrapped in Israeli flags celebrate Israel Independence day at Latrun.
  • Yom Ha'Atzmaut 2023: evening of April 25th – sundown on April 26th
  • Yom Ha'Atzmaut 2024: evening of May 13th – sundown on May 14th

Yom Ha'Atzmaut is Hebrew for 'Day of Independence'. It is an annual national holiday in Israel celebrating the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Jewish people all around the world celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut to express their joy and pride in their country as well as to show respect to the country's founders and soldiers.

Travel tip: If you happen to visit Israel during the festival, you'll be surrounded by parades, fireworks, concerts, and other festivities.

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Shavuot (Feast of Weeks)

How is Shavuot celebrated traditionally?People praying in front of the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Shavuot 2023: evening of May 25th – sundown on May 26th
  • Shavuot 2024: evening of June 11th – sundown on June 12th

Shavuot is a religious Jewish festival celebrating the date of the giving of the Torah from God to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. It also marks the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. Shavuot is also called 'the Festival of Harvest' in the Bible.

Shavuot is celebrated by all Jews all over the world, especially in Israel. Tradition requires no work during Shavuot. It's a time to study the Torah and reflect on the meaning behind the Ten Commandments.

Travel tip: If you visit Israel during Shavuot, you would find many sights and restaurants closed for 1–2 days. But instead, you could see and take part in the festivities, parades, parties, scenes of children with garlands on their heads, and stores full of spring fruits.

Read more about Shavuot Greetings/Wishes 2023: Can You Say 'Happy Shavuot'

Rosh Ha'Shanah (Jewish New Year)

Rosh Ha'Shanah (Jewish New Year)Honey, apples and pomegranate are symbols of Jewish New Year holiday - Rosh Ha'Shanah.
  • Rosh Ha'Shanah 2023: evening of September 15th – sundown on September 17th
  • Rosh Ha'Shanah 2024: evening of October 2rd – sundown on October 4th

Rosh Hashanah ('Head the Year'), observed in September or October on the Gregorian calendar, marks the beginning of the Jewish year and the anniversary of the creation of universe (from light to Adam and Eve). It lasts for 2 days.

Traditional celebrations include attending prayer services in a synagogue, listening to the shofar (an ancient musical horn), eating traditional foods like apples dipped in honey (symbolizing a sweet new year), etc.

Travel tip: During Rosh Ha'Shanah, many businesses in Israel are closed. Travel may be affected, but it is a good opportunity to experience the spiritual atmosphere and festive Israel.

Check how to plan a trip to the Middle East>>>

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)The city during the Yom Kippur holiday when all highways and roads are empty.
  • Yom Kippur 2023: evening of September 24th – sundown on September 25th
  • Yom Kippur 2024: evening of October 11th – sundown on October 12th

Yom Kippur is the 10th day of the civil year. Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur also usually falls in September or October.

Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are the two High Holy Days of Judaism. Yom Kippur is mainly about atonement and repentance; thus, it is also called Day of Atonement. The celebrations mainly include fasting and refraining from other earthly pleasures like bathing and wearing leather shoes (a luxury in ancient times).

Travel tip: Yom Kippur is a day about atonement and fasting. Many Jewish people will refrain from work with businesses closing for a day.

Read more information on Yom Kippur - Things You Should Not Do

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Booths)

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Booths)Jewish family sukkah for Sukkot.
  • Sukkot 2023: evening of September 29th – sundown on October 6th
  • Sukkot 2024: evening of October 16th – sundown on October 23rd

Sukkot is celebrated to commemorate the Israelites' roaming in the desert for 40 years after their exodus from Egypt. Today, building sukkahs (temporary huts or tents) and eating inside them is one of the most important celebrations during Sukkot as tents were where Israelites stayed in the desert.

Sukkot is observed on the 15th day of the civil year. It is a joyful festival usually celebrated for 7 days in Israel. Israel enjoys a national public holiday on the first day.

Sukkot was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals in ancient times, when all Israelites would make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Travel tip: The first day and the last day of Sukkot are considered the major holidays, when some businesses close in areas with a significant Jewish population. However, businesses not owned by Jewish people are usually open as usual.

Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah)

Simchat Torah (Rejoicing with the Torah)Jewish men celebrate Simchat Torah.
  • Simchat Torah 2023: evening of October 6th – sundown on October 7th
  • Simchat Torah 2024: evening of October 23rd – sundown on October 24th

Simchat Torah is celebrated just after Sukkot, marking the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings. People in Israel celebrate it joyfully with traditional singing and dancing.

During Simchat Torah, the last portion of Torah will be read and immediately after that the worshippers will start the first portion. This stands for the cyclical nature of Torah as well as the ongoing relationship between Torah and Jewish people.

Travel tip: Simchat Torah is a national public holiday in Israel. If you visit Israel during this period, you will find many restaurants are closed or have reduced business hours.

Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)

Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)A family is lighting a candle for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
  • Hanukkah 2023: evening of December 7th – sundown on December 15th
  • Hanukkah 2024: evening of December 25th – sundown on January 2nd

Hanukkah is a religious festival celebrating the victory of the Jewish people over the Seleucid Empire, who outlawed Jewish religious practices and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabean Jews retook Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple in 164 BCE. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah for 8 days with schools being closed but businesses being open as usual.

After the Jewish people recaptured the Temple, the oil they found could only light a menorah (seven-branch candelabrum) for one day, but actually it lasted for eight days. To commemorate this miracle, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah for eight days and nights.

Besides singing traditional songs and dancing, lighting the menorah is the most well-known celebration. A special nine-branched candelabrum is lit, with one candle for each night and the additional 9th candle to light the others.

Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av) — An Observance, Not a Holiday

Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av)A group of religious Jews praying with a Torah scroll at the Wailing Wall commemorating Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av).
  • Tisha B'Av 2023: evening of July 26th – sundown on July 27th
  • Tisha B'Av 2024: evening of August 12th – sundown on August 13th

Tisha B'Av is not a national public holiday, but you might find places of public entertainment closed and some businesses may operate on a reduced schedule during the day. It is a festival about fasting, mourning, and prayer.

Tisha B'Av is the festival in Israel commemorating the destruction of the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is observed on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, thus it is called Tisha B'Av ('Ninth of Av').

Tisha B'Av is considered the saddest day of the year. Jewish people in Israel and many Jewish communities in other countries celebrate it by refraining from eating and drinking for a 25-hour period. They also choose to avoid bathing, wearing leather shoes (a kind of luxury in ancient time), and engaging in other joyful activities.

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