In Israel, Independence Day usually means getting together with family and friends for a barbecue, heading down to the beach or catching the fireworks display.
And while this year’s 72nd anniversary celebrations on April 29 will be far more solemn and solitary courtesy of Covid-19, we’re firm believers in counting our blessings. Like the fact we can skip the annual charred hotdogs, for one.
But dubious pieces of meat aside, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate this remarkable day, even if it’s only from the living room. Enjoy!
- Bone up on Israeli history
Israel’s had plenty of spectacular achievements since its founding in 1948. Sports, science, agriculture, health, music – you name it, we’ll show it. Just check out the video below, and also take a look at our timeline of the last 72 years. Both will give you a chance to revel in the accomplishments achieved by Israel in the span of just a few decades.
- Make hummus and pita bread
Even if you’re celebrating solo, no party is complete without snacks. And what better food to mark 72 years of Israeli independence than a pita bread with hummus? It’s not as difficult to make as it might seem, and we’ve got step-by-step video tutorials to help you out. B’teavon!
- Enjoy a glass (or two) of Israeli wine
To get into a truly festive mood, we recommend that you pour yourself a glass of fabulous Israeli wine. There’s plenty to choose from, with many winemaking regions in the country.
In the Judean Hills, four leading boutique winemakers joined forces to promote their wares on the global scene. These wineries – Domaine du Castel, Flam, Sphera and Tzora – produce delicious, award-winning wines. There’s no time like home-quarantine time to get yourself acquainted with them.
- Tune in to our Spotify dance list and party it up at home
Now that you’ve got your refreshments in order, it’s time to turn up the music and have a little party. Tearing yourself away from the couch and getting those endorphins going will certainly lift your mood and put you in the appropriate celebratory state of mind. Just remember to turn off the video cam if you prefer to dance like no one’s watching.
- Watch Independence Day airshows on the sofa
One way to recognize that it’s Independence Day in Israel is to look up at the sky and watch out for the fantastic air show. Carried out by the Israel Air Force, the show includes jets of all kinds whizzing up and down the country, leaving white trails in the (usually) clear blue sky.
And if you are lucky enough to live near one of Israel’s hospitals, then this year you’ll be able to watch four planes fly over them in a salute to the medical staff fighting the virus. Tears all round.
- Keep your kids busy making blue-and-white decorations
If you’re lucky enough to be doing home isolation with your children (and have yet to throw them out of the house for driving you crazy), we suggest supplying them with some blue-and-white arts and crafts. In the time it takes them to cut strips of paper and link them into festive chains to hang across the walls, you can catch a little nap. You’re welcome.
- Check out our exhibition on seven decades of Israeli life
With the coronavirus crisis on our minds, it’s nice to look back and reflect on everything that we’ve already overcome and look forward to the wonderful things awaiting this little country.
To get in the right mood, check out our exhibition on seven decades of Israeli life, which showcases the amazing accomplishments that have been achieved here in such a short time. Whether turning a desert into a home, shaping a modern economy or launching Startup Nation, there’s plenty to be proud of – and plenty to look forward to.
- Test your Israel knowledge
Every once in a while, we here at ISRAEL21c enjoy posting a quiz to help you test your knowledge about all things Israel. And with your brain currently losing gray matter to your favorite TV binge, now might be the time for a little challenge. Give this a go, or, if it proves too fiendish (you’re not alone), try this one.
- Devour Israeli treats
In our unbiased opinion, Israeli snacks and sweets are the very best in the world. From peanut buttery Bamba to oh-so-crunchy Bissli and delightful chocolates of all sorts, they really are the best.
And since you’re anyhow eating too much junk while you keep yourself safe and sound at home, you might as well do so Israel-style this Independence Day. To learn more about what you should lay your hands on, click here.
And if you’re overwhelmed by the choices, may we recommend you take our “Find out what Israeli snack you are” quiz. Turns out yours truly is a Milky chocolate pudding.
- Take a virtual tour of Israel
This whole staying at home thing sucks, especially when we’d like to be out and about in celebration. But you can still take a virtual tour of Israel courtesy of ISRAELc’s “Postcards”, which we brought together in one gorgeous film. There’s no better time to celebrate the beauty of this tiny country.
- Make a donation to battle Covid-19
For next year’s Independence Day celebrations to be the real deal, we need to find a way to overcome the global coronavirus pandemic. Heroic efforts are already underway to find a vaccine, to treat those who are ill and to support the sick and elderly in these trying times.
It’s time for the rest of us to show support, so pick a charity or initiative close to your heart, whether in Israel and abroad, and let’s make sure that we can all meet for a real-life L’chaim as soon as possible.