Jerusalem Events and Festivals

(Jerusalem, Israel)

Seasonal photo of Israeli celebrationJerusalem has a busy calendar of events year round to cater for its constant stream of visitors. The religious festivals of Christmas, Ramadan and Easter take precedence on the religious calendar and see the city fill with worshippers for spiritual services, fasting and processions respectively.

Aside from the many religious festivals that are observed in Jerusalem, there are an increasing number of secular events and things to do to appeal to all kinds of visitors. Among these are the Jerusalem International Book Fair in February, and the ten-day Film Festival, which takes place annually in July.

Jerusalem Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Orthodox Christmas - held on 7th January according to the Julian calendar, the Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebrations see religious services held across the city


  • Jerusalem International Book Fair - one for the book worm, this popular, internationally respected event offers endless opportunities to browse, buy and read


  • Easter - late March / early April, held to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, this Christian festival is one of the most important events of the year, seeing religious services held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by various denominations of the faith


  • Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day - held at Vad Yashem to remember victims of the Holocaust and those who battled to save them


  • Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) - honouring those who fell in the 1967 Six Day War, this event is widely observed by Jewish Israelis and includes marches and musical concerts


  • Israeli Festival - celebrating international arts is this 16-day event that sees opera, theatre, dance and music performed. It serves to share diversity through the celebration of these art forms


  • Jerusalem Film Festival - offering a chance for Israeli filmmakers to make their mark, this popular festival sees ten-days' worth of screenings followed by a glamorous awards ceremony


  • Tischa B'Av - this Hebrew festival marks the destruction of the two temples that once sat on Temple Mount, after which Jews were exiled from the city for a period of 2,000 years. On this day, Jews gather at the site of the former Second Temple, at the Western Wall


  • Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year is celebrated for ten days prior to Yom Kippur. During this time Jews ask for forgiveness, eat special foods and carry out cleansing rituals


  • Feast of Tabernacles - this popular October event sees Jews make a pilgrimage to the Holy Temple to take part in religious services, seminars and visits to the city's holy sites


  • Ramadan - this one-month long event see Muslims refrain from eating during daylight hours and abstain from other pleasures. It is the most important Muslim festival of the year, observed by all followers of the faith


  • Christmas - Jerusalem comes alive at Christmas time, with the Latin Patriarch procession from Jerusalem to the Church of the Nativity taking place on the eve before Christmas. Religious services are held at churches across the city
  • Chanukah - a seven-day long Jewish event each December, to commemorate the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple by the Maccabees. At this time, candlelit menorahs are placed in windows, gifts are exchanged and families gather