Israeli Independence Day celebrated

17th Apr 2013

Revellers, well-wishers and tourists on tailor-made holidays were among those joining in the fun as more than a million Israelis lit barbecues, flocked to nature sites, toured museums and partied on the beach to mark the nation's 65th Independence Day.

Celebrations began on Monday evening as the country was transformed from a sorrowful Memorial Day into the jovial Yom Ha'atzmaut - as the holiday is known in Hebrew.

Fireworks lit up the sky as events kicked off with a jubilant torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Music continued late into the night at city-sponsored concerts, folk dancing shindigs and parties.

Overcast skies and pessimistic weather forecasters predicting rain failed to dampen enthusiasm the following day, when the most popular destinations were Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv, Park Eshkol in the Negev, Ben Shemen Forest in central Israel and Biriya Forest in the north.

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