You are here

Public Holidays

There are nine official holidays throughout the year in Israel.

All holidays start at sunset, therefore, workplaces typically close down on the afternoon of the holiday's eve. Some services resume their work the following evening, while most workers continue the holiday until the next morning.

Weekends in Israel are Friday to Saturday. The law designates 36 hours of weekly holiday from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, but most businesses and offices are closed all day on Fridays.

  • Passover - 1 day - Mar/Apr
  • 7th day of Passover - 1 day - Mar/Apr
  • Independance Day - 1 day - Apr/May
  • Shavuot - 1 day - May/Jun
  • Jewish New Year - 2 days - Sept/Oct
  • Yom Kippur - 1 day - Sept/Oct
  • Sukkot - 1 day - Sept/Oct
  • Simchat Torah - 1 day - Sept/Oct

Of these, Independence Day is supposed to be observed by all citizens, while others are Jewish religious holidays which non-Jewish communities can disregard. The school year has several optional formats approved by the Ministry of Education, one of which is chosen by the school principal in consideration of the local community's religion and tradition.

There is a table on Wikipedia showing school holidays observed by the majority of schools. Many businesses and government offices allow workers to choose additional one or two days of leave out of the list of non-official holidays. Collective leave is also a common habit in many businesses and government offices during Chol HaMoed. Non-Jews may choose Friday, Saturday or Sunday as their main weekly holiday, while Jews may not work on Saturday, unless their workplace is open on Saturdays with a special permit.