Spending the holidays at your Jerusalem Hotel

Enjoying the Fall and Winter Celebrations at your Jerusalem Hotel

If it’s one thing that the Jewish calendar is known for, it’s the Jewish holidays or celebrations. Practically a month doesn’t pass without some minor or major festival.  As a tourist, you’ll be affected differently depending upon the specific holiday.  You’ll especially feel the holiday atmosphere if you’re staying at one of the many Jerusalem hotels.  Listed below are just some of the major holidays that take place during the fall and winter months of the year, and what you can expect when you’re staying at your Jerusalem hotel.  Dates aren’t specific because the Jewish year is based on the lunar cycle.  

– Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) – Unlike the rest of the world, the Jewish nation celebrates the New Year in September.  Most if not all shops are closed and public transportation comes to a standstill.  Your Jerusalem hotel would be buzzing at this time of year with tons of tourists from around the world.  This is the only Jewish holiday that is celebrated for two days, similar to what is done outside of Israel.  

– Yom Kippur – This is the holiest day of the Jewish year.  If falls out 10 days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah.  Everything comes to a complete stop – no public transportation or any open shops.  The only that you’ll find around your Jerusalem hotel are throngs of people walking in the middle of usually jam-packed thoroughfares.  Whether religious or not, most if not nearly Israelis celebrate Yom Kippur to some extent.  The beauty and stillness of the day is overwhelming.  

– Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Five days after Yom Kippur, Israelis celebrate the harvest festival of Sukkot.  Wherever you look out from your Jerusalem hotel, you’ll see people walking with palm leaves an esrogs (looks like a lemon).  This is one of three Jewish festivals that Jews are commanded to visit Jerusalem.  The Old City’s Western Wall is usually packed at this time of year with visitors from around the globe.  

– Hanukkah – The festival of lights holiday falls out in December.  You’ll see scores of Hanukkah menorahs lit in the street.  Your Jerusalem hotel also probably has a few lit menorahs.  It gives the city a real festive feeling in the midst of winter.