Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

Yom Yerushalayim—also known as Jerusalem Day—is an Israeli national holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the Six-Day War in June 1967. It has been declared a minor religious holiday by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and it is a holiday on which Israelis get a day off work.

It is also a day when schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed. This holiday begins on the 28th day of the Hebrew calendar’s eighth month, called Iyar. This places it sometime in May on the Gregorian calendar—depending on the year it is observed.

The History of Yom Yerushalayim

After the state of Israel was created in 1948, it was agreed that Jerusalem would be an international city for 10 years. After that period, the residents could then vote for which country they wanted to join. In May of 1948, Israel was attacked by Jordan, which resulted in parts of the city being under Israeli control and other parts under Jordanian control.

On the 6th of June in 1967, the Six-Day War began. The following day, Israeli forces took the part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan. On June 11, 1967, the war came to an end. The following year, in May of 1968, the 28th day of the month of Iyar was proclaimed as Jerusalem Day to mark the unification of Jerusalem. Thirty years later, in 1998, it was made a national holiday.

Observing Yom Yerushalayim

One of the ways this holiday is observed is by a youth parade featuring flags. Known as the Dance of Flags, this parade begins at Gan Sacher and goes through the streets of downtown Jerusalem. It finally ends in the Old City with a gathering and a prayer at the Western Wall. It is also celebrated with prayers, festivals, and other events.

Where is it celebrated?
Israel (National holiday, hebrew)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 5 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 26 Monday
Last year (2023)
May 19 Friday