Shavuot in May basically marks the beginning of the summer in Israel. The temperatures get higher, and the first fruits such as figs, dates, pomegranates, olives and grapes ripen.
Therefore, this holiday is a perfect opportunity to head to the numerous kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) in the North of the country and pick your own fresh fruits. Also, many kibbutzim organize harvest festivals with fun activities for children. Tractor parades, braiding a flower crown and much more will expect your most precious crop.
If you look for even more nature than a kibbutz can offer, go on a national trail hike. You can admire blooming paths to the untouched nature and take a refreshment later in a one of numerous springs and waterfalls in the Upper Galilee.
Should this cool-down be not enough, you can fill up your water gun with the clearest chill spring water and arrange a real water battle!
What is better than to end up a day, full of emotions and impressions, with a glass of tasteful wine and mouth-watering cheese? Both industries are thriving now in Israel and can offer a large variety of products such as such as lebane, a creamy yoghurt-like soft cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk that is often served mixed with local herbs like za’atar, or zefatit, a salted sheep’s curd cheese that is molded into a basket and named for the area of Zefat, or Safed, where it was first made.
To get to the winery by a jeep is even more fun. Exploring the hilly landscape of the Golan Heights and finally enjoy the view over the wine yards, tasting the full-bodied Golan Heights Syrah or balanced Pelter Pinot Noir.
For those who prefer to spend the holiday in the city but not miss the nature – the parcs are the perfect hideaway. Since it’s custom to eat a lot of dairy on Shavuot we suggest trying out one of the best cheesecakes in your life made from the local products. Tip for those staying in Tel Aviv – the Cheesecake Factory at Sarona Market.
Don’t miss the opportunity for the shopping close to Sarona at one of the big malls like Azrieli or Gindi since the shops offer big sales on white clothes before Shavuot. White is considered a pure color and is also one of the many reasons for dairy consumption over holiday.
The actual reason for the big amounts of dairy products on the table is the belief that when Moses received the Ten Commandments and collaterally the law of keeping kosher, the Jewish people couldn’t prepare the meat meals because of the Shabbat and so they ate the dairy meals.
Even if you don’t belong to the Jewish folk, it is worth to listen to the Book of Ruth telling the story of a young woman who decided to follow the way of living of her Jewish mother-in- law and join the Jewish people. This story is rather more about the female empowerment and freedom to be what you want than about conversion to the Judaism.
As you see there are plenty of things to do over this holiday regardless of the confession and beliefs, and the best thing is – you will never feel alone in Israel. Every community welcomes tourists to join the Shavuot meal and be the part of the family.