Hag-ha Hagim Festival in Haifa

Hag-ha Hagim Festival in Haifa

The main goal of the  Hag-ha Hagim festival is to unite people belonging to different faiths and cultures. At the beginning of winter, Jewish Hanukkah and Christian Christmas are celebrated, while Muslim holidays, which are celebrated according to the lunar calendar, can fall at any time of the year. Haifa is a multi-ethnic and multicultural city. For many decades, representatives of various communities-Jews, Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs, representatives of the Bahá'í religion, and other faiths-have not only lived and co-existed peacefully here, but also actively interact with each other. And if you take into account the fact that within each religious denomination there are representatives of different ethnic groups and cultures, then you can be amazed and rejoice at the amazing multiculturalism of Haifa.

So, two decades ago, Haifa began celebrating the coincidence of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid al-Adha with a series of concerts and exhibitions, deciding that such a triple festival of arts and religions would contribute to urban confessional and national coexistence. For many years, the festival has been held under the patronage of the Beit Hagefen Cultural Center and the Haifa Municipality. The center of the festivities is the Arab-Jewish quarter of Wadi Nisnas, the German Colony, and the Lower City. Exhibitions are held here, art artifacts are installed on streets and squares, magicians and circus performers perform. This holiday is popular among creative people ― musicians, writers, artists, actors, and photographers come to Haifa these days. And after them ― a lot of ordinary Israelis.

On the eve of the opening of the festival, traditionally, you managed to take part in a guided tour of the Wadi Nisnas quarter. Its name translates from Arabic as "Mongoose Valley". It is dominated by an Arab population ― Muslims and Christians, but there are also Jews and a relatively small number of followers of the Bahá'í faith. This old quarter looks quite exotic and keeps signs not only of the past but also of the penultimate centuries.

At first, the houses were built closely together, so that the distance between them allowed two loaded donkeys to disperse. These were the rules of urban planning throughout the East, and Wadi Nisnas is no exception. In these fast-paced times, car drivers have to wait patiently for pedestrians to clear the roadway of narrow alleys. However, the narrow streets of Wadi Nisnas are not its main charm. This is a real open-air museum, where sculptures and frescoes are found at every turn, between spice shops and toy stores, posters left over from the recent municipal elections, and market rows. One of its most important sites is the Beit ha-Gefen cultural Center, which unites Jews and Arabs, Jews, Muslims, and Christians under one roof. Let's return to the festival, which starts these days and will last all December. Its organizers promise us a lot of exhibitions and performances, the entrance fee for some of which will be symbolic, and most of them will be completely free. You can learn more about festival events on haifahag.com. Street processions and masquerades, concerts of classical and liturgical music, jazz and ethnic, and much, much more are also expected. And, of course, bright and noisy fairs, where you can find everything from modern Chinese consumer goods to valuable ancient artifacts. And so that the public who came to taste spiritual food does not forget about their daily bread, numerous restaurants and eateries will be open until late at night in the premises and under the open sky. Take part in this unusual celebration! Book a car on GetRentacar.com and do not forget to use a promo code BLGLVSK5 to get an extra discount. You can also leave an application on the website to get the best deals from car owners. Read our article about why this option is more convenient and profitable to choose a car.

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