Ahead of the holiday of Shavuot, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) has unveiled a trove of old photos showing how Bikkurim celebrations looked across the Land of Israel during the British Mandate era, preceding the establishment of the state.
Shavuot, one of the three pilgrimage festivals (in addition to Sukkot, and Passover), was traditionally observed by the people of Israel in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of the first fruits season.
During the Mandate period, Shavuot was celebrated with vibrant costumes, parades and dancing in the streets of major cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Starting in the 1920s, KKL-JNF, through the teachers' movement for KKL-JNF, imbued Shavuot with a new significance, symbolizing the return to the homeland and the deepening connection to the Land of Israel.
"The ceremonies for presenting the Bikkurim (First-Fruits) were revived in cities and villages across the country," said Efrat Sinai, director of KKL-JNF's Archives.
"In Jerusalem, the Bikkurim were brought to the KKL-JNF building, while Tel Aviv featured grand stages, and Haifa celebrated with vibrant parades and street performances.
The KKL-JNF photo archive serves as a captivating testament to the Jewish people's presence in the Land of Israel in the early 20th century.
As a tribute to Shavuot, we are delighted to unveil nostalgic photographs capturing the Bikkurim celebrations in the major cities during the British Mandate."