Calendar of cultural events for Jerusalem 2013

Calendar of cultural events for Jerusalem 2013

    Jerusalem, Israel's capital, offers tourists a unique religious and spiritual experience, rich history, tourist attractions and a calendar full of cultural events and festivals to enrich the visiting experience.
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    Jerusalem Festival of Light 2012 Jerusalem Festival of Light 2012 Copyright: Ministry of Tourism
    Jerusalem Festival of Light 2012 (Photo: Ministry of Tourism)

    Jerusalem, Israel's capital, offers tourists a unique religious and spiritual experience, rich history, tourist attractions and a calendar full of cultural events and festivals to enrich the visiting experience. Many of the annual festivals and events attract the participation of internationally-acclaimed stars, as they take place against the backdrop of the ancient city walls.

    Here are some highlights for the diary:

    12 February - 28 September: Herod the Great exhibition at the Israel Museum. The world's first exhibition on the life and legacy of Herod the Great will present 250 archaeological finds from the king’s recently discovered tomb at Herodium, from Jericho and other related sites. 

    20 February - 30 April:  International Ice Festival. One of the world's largest Ice Festivals arrives in Jerusalem for the second year, featuring ice sculptures, ice skating rink, acrobatic and skating performances on ice, a children's ice city, ice bar and more. Jerusalem Old Station Complex.




    1 March: Jerusalem Marathon. The third International Jerusalem Marathon, ranked as one of the world’s top 10 marathons by British Women’s Running Magazine,  will include three different running options (42km, 21 km, 10 km), taking participants through Jerusalem’s history, culture and unique and spectacular views.

    18-21 March: Sounds of the Old City Music Festival. Ensembles playing diverse musical styles from traditional Armenian to gospel music will add even more enchantment to the alleyways and courtyards of the Old City with free musical performances.
    21-24 April: First International Symposium on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage. Jerusalem will host hundreds of religious and community leaders as well as innovators from around the world who will share their experiences and best practices for urban sustainability and accessibility in pilgrim cities.

    23 May - June 8: The Israel Festival. A three-week spectacular of art, music, dance and theater with Jerusalem’s top cultural venues showcasing works by artists from all over the world, premieres of Israeli works and free street theater performances. Now in its 52nd year!

    16 May: Museum Day. In honor of Museum Day, Jerusalem’s museums will be open free of charge, exposing tourists and visitors to the city’s rich cultural offerings.
    28-30 May: Musrara Mix Festival  This multidisciplinary event, part of a UNESCO network of cultural programs, features artists from Israel and abroad and will take place in the Musrara neighborhood. 

    28-29 May: Jerusalem Innovative Tourism Summit. The annual conference will serve as a summit of innovation and showcase discussions about the latest ground-breaking technologies and trends introduced by key players in the tourism world. Panels will discuss issues such as tourism-related apps and urban tourism.

    5-13 June 2012: Jerusalem Festival of Light: A breathtaking display of artistic light creations, designed by leading local and foreign light artists, throughout the Old City's public and restricted areas, as well as at tourism sites.



    June 2013: Formula 1 in Jerusalem. Plans are being finalized for a Formula 1 race to pass through some of the most iconic streets in Jerusalem’s modern city.

    15 June - 31 August: The Jerusalem Season of Culture: an annual summer showcase of the city's contemporary cultural treasures, including dance, music, poetry, philosophy, visual art, new media, and more.

    July 2013: Jerusalem Film Festival: Ten full days of screenings, honorary guests, panels and festivities. Outdoor screenings take place at the foot of the old city walls in Sultan's Pool.

    4-8 August: International Festival of Puppet Theater: A festival for the entire family, the International Festival of Puppet Theater has become a primal source of creation and inspiration in the field of Puppet Theater in Israel. Featuring performances and artists from all over the world.

    6-18 August: International Arts and Crafts Fair, Khutzot Hayotser: For over thirty years, the Khutzot Hayotser Arts and Crafts Fair has brought together over 150 Israeli artists and dozens more from countries all over the world.

    20-23 August: The Festival of Sacred Music: Israeli and international musicians perform in venues around the city selected for their religious or historical significance, including the Tower of David. A multi-cultural tribute to the people who have glorified Jerusalem for centuries.

    September: Chamber Music Festival. Held annually at the YMCA, this festival will highlight chamber pieces by Schubert, as well as shows in collaboration with the Israeli Opera.

    September: In The Beginning: A major international exhibition entitled "In the Beginning" will be opened at the Bible Lands Museum featuring a collection examining how the Bible ahs shaped humanity for over 2,000 years.

    10,17,24,31 October: The Knights Festival: A journey back in time to the heroes of the Middle Ages, including knights, kings, princesses and troubadours, roaming the Old City alleyways. Free street performances.

    17-19 October: Houses From Within: Tourists and visitors are invited to explore generally private spaces such as homes and gardens during this one weekend.
    31 October - November: International Oud Festival. The Jerusalem International Oud Festival presents the great Arab musical tradition and cultures influenced by it, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

    December: Hot Winter, Long Nights: Hamshushalayim, as it is known in Jerusalem, takes place every long weekend in December (Thursday through Saturday), offering an array of events at cultural institutions in the city with many museums and tourist sites open free of charge, night tours, concerts, special deals in restaurants and more.

    December: Jerusalem Design Week: The 3rd annual Jerusalem Design Week will feature a design conference and an exhibit at the Contemporary Art Center of emerging design talent.

    General information about events in the city, updated nearer the time, can be found at