• Issue: April 2003
  • Designer: Eytan Hendel
  • Stamp Size: 25.7 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 507 (no phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

The Israeli Knesset declared that Israel': Independence Day, a national holiday, would be celebrated on the Hebrew date of Heh Beiyar. Families and friends celebrate the holiday by getting together for nature walks picnics and social gatherings. There are specie Independence Day prayer services with prayers for peace for the country and its leaders.

There is a long list of official Independence Day events.

On Independence Day eve, people fill the streets to enjoy entertainment from both celebrities and local amateurs.

The Independence Day festivities are opened in the evening of Memorial Day, by the beacon lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem This ceremony marks the end of Memorial Da) and the beginning of the celebrations. Twelve citizens, symbolizing the Twelve Tribes o Israel, light the beacons to signify the glory o the country. Each year the government decides on a particular field of activity and these citizens are chosen for their special contribution to this field.

The World Bible Youth Quiz is held each yea on Independence Day in the presence of the Prime Minister. Youth from Israel and all over the world come to Jerusalem to participate it this quiz.

The President of Israel opens his residence to the public and hosts a reception fo Ambassadors who bring greetings from their countries. A reception is also held for soldier: of distinction.

A military parade was the main event o independence Day until in the mid -70's when it was cancelled in favor of social and culture State celebrations.

In place of the parade, Israel Airforce plane: fly over the towns and naval ships sail along the country's coast. Many army bases and military structures are open to the public an( the latest developments are on display.

The Israel Prize ceremony is held at the en( of the day. The Israel Prize is awarded to individuals or groups who have made significan contributions to Israel. It is awarded in the presence of the President of Israel, the Prime Minister of Israel, Israel Knesset Speaker, the Supreme Court President, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Minister of Education and other dignitaries, to people who have made significant contributions to society and the country in the fields of Jewish studies, humanities and socia science, exact and life sciences, and art anc culture.

Jacob Vidas
Acting Director, Israel Philatelic Service

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Israel - 55 Years of Independence