David Ben Gurion declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948. In the Hebrew calendar, this is the 5th of Iyar. Yom Ha’atzmaut, the national day commemorating Israel’s declaration of independence, is celebrated on this date every year.
As the sun sets, an official ceremony is held by the Israeli government at Mt. Herzl to celebrate. Twelve torches, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel, are lit. When the ceremony concludes, fireworks illuminate the skies.
The next day, the International Bible Contest is held. High school students from around the world compete for a scholarship to Bar Ilan University.
Commanders and fellow soldiers select 120 IDF soldiers who have performed their duty to their country in an outstanding way. They receive an award from the president of Israel at his residence.
The Israel Prize, the highest honor that Israel awards, is handed out. It is given for achievements in the humanities, the sciences, culture, and lifetime achievement.
The celebrations include visits to IDF bases. Weapons are exhibited for the civilian guests.
Many people participate in a festive meal, which is usually a potluck picnic barbecue. This year, Yom Ha’atzmaut falls on May 11th. You may experience this festive tradition by hosting your own Israel themed dinner. A fun activity for your family and guests is to decorate their own Israeli Flag inspired cupcakes. You may buy or bake cupcakes. Then, decorate with frosting, sugar sprinkles and Israeli flag toothpicks.
Easy Vanilla Cupcake
Adapted from The Food Network.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 12 tbsp. butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place cupcake liners in a muffin baking tray.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Spoon batter into each cupcake liner until it is 2/3 full.
- Bake for about 20 minutes.
Adapted from MyRecipes.
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- Beat all the ingredients together in a mixer.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
- Decorate with frosting, candy, and Israeli flags.