Sukkot is Israel’s harvest festival and many of its traditions involve enjoying nature.
Sukkot – the festival of Tabernacles – usually falls in September or October, and it is known as the Festival of Ingathering. People sit and eat in Sukkot – tabernacles – built in the style of harvesters’ booths from days gone by, and families spend time in nature. Parks and nature reserves all over Israel prepare for extra visitors during the week-long holiday, and they often construct Sukkot. Hotels and restaurants throughout the country erect Sukkot huts with roofs made of branches, so that their guests can dine outdoors according to the Jewish tradition.
One of the largest Sukkot in Israel is built each year in Safra Square outside the Jerusalem Municipality offices (pictured here). During the intermediate days of the festival, the Municipality offers guided tours of City Hall and surrounding historical buildings, including the scale model of the city of Jerusalem.
The KKL-JNF runs a full program of Sukkot events for all ages, ranging from olive picking to bird-watching, since October is the start of the autumn bird migration from Europe to Africa. They have arranged magical Fairytale Sukkot event in Ben Shemen Forest. This child-friendly free event will include creative workshops with Mister Geppetto and Pinocchio, drumming sessions with Pocahontas and friends, a sweet-making workshop with Hansel and Gretel, meeting Snow White and casting wishes in the Wishing Well, performances by Peter Pan, rescuing Princess Rapunzel from her tower, and meeting Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma and the Big Bad Wolf.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel runs hiking activities all over Israel during the week of Sukkot. They run a family Survival in Nature workshop in the Carmel Forest where participants can learn how to light a fire, make ropes, and build a hideout, use camouflage techniques, and other survival skills. They also have a 20 kilometer nature trail along the Yarkon Stream through the heart of Tel Aviv, discovering hidden urban nature sites that are usually overlooked.
The fall weather during Sukkot usually makes it an ideal time to explore Israel’s amazing nature trails and beautiful outdoor attractions. The heat is less intense than during the summer months, and the evenings are pleasantly cool.
Why not plan a visit to Israel during Sukkot with Shatour Israel Experience. We will organize a customized program of activities to suit your family or group, ensuring that you enjoy all aspects of the festival and Israel’s natural beauty.