Galilee - Culture
The hills and valleys of the Galilee are, throughout the year, alive with the sound of song and dance. The Galilee is famous for its festivals featuring music, theatre, and dance. With many different ethnic and agricultural communities, it has become the scene of a number of well-attended festivals, appealing to a variety of tastes, interests, and age groups.
Many of the festivals are annual and seasonal, and have attracted a devoted following that return to the Galilee year after year. People come from all over Israel to enjoy the well-loved Klezmer Festival at Safed, the popular dance festival in Karmiel, or the theater festival in Acco.
Food, Song and Dance
• The Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival is a unique musical and social event for lovers of all kinds of music; from bluegrass to world music, from Irish jigs to country rock, from blues to Renaissance. The festival takes place at Nof Ginosar at the Sea of Galilee every spring. For more information, visit the Jacob's Ladder Festival website.
• The Karmiel Dance Festival is the largest celebration of dance in Israel. A quarter of a million spectators and dancers gather to enjoy the festivities in the green capital of the Galilee. During 3 days and nights of non-stop dancing, 5,000 dancers from Israel and the Diaspora perform in dozens of dance performances. For information about this celebration of dance, see the Karmiel Dance Festival website.
• The Klezmer Festival in Safed is a popular music festival featuring traditional Jewish “soul” music. The name “Klezmer” derives from “klei zemer”, the Hebrew for “musical instruments”.
• The Acco Theater Festival features alternative (Fringe) theater, presenting a wide variety of plays.
• At least a dozen local festivals of traditional foods, music, crafts, and dance mark the November olive harvesting period. Check with the Nazareth and Akko Tourist Information offices for the best listings.
• The Renaissance Festival, held at the Yechiam Fortress during Succot (the Feast of Tabernacles), features traditional music. Actors, singers, and dancers, dressed in traditional garb, entertain the crowd.
• The bird watching festival in the Hula Valley offers keen bird watchers a feast for the eyes. Hula is one of the best bird-watching regions in the world. The Society for the Protection of Nature of Israel (SPNI) manages the festival. For more information on bird watching, visit the web site.
• Throughout the year, a series of events providing fun for the whole family is offered by the Music and Nature Festival in Misgav. Among the events are storytelling, plays, and live musical performances.
• During Passover, the three day Mosaic festival is held in Upper Nazareth. Aptly named, it aims to bring together a variety of different communities, cultures, and artists from throughout Israel, for performances by some of the country's leading performers.
• Sculpture and creative workshops are featured at the International Sculpture Symposium "East – West" in Ma'alot, during Passover.
• The Jordan Valley Festival, "The Valley is a Treasure", takes place during Passover. The ideal time to go on walking tours, to enjoy the spring flowers in bloom, see the wealth of birdlife, and visit the many historical sites in the area.
• The Milk and Honey Festival, which takes place throughout the Jezreel Valley, offers a host of activities during Shavuot (the Festival of Weeks). Including jeep trails, horse races, bus tours of the valley, folk dancing, folk singing, and a flower- and farmers’ market.
Among the cultural activities on offer in the Galilee, there also are a large number of museums and art galleries. From music to art, from food to bird watching, the Galilee festivals offer fun all year round.