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Photo: Roee Idan
Shavuot celebrations at Kibbutz Ruhama
Photo: Roee Idan
Israelis flock to nature reserves, kibbutzim to celebrate Shavuot
Some 100,000 visitors take to nature, seeking to escape hot weather at streams and rivers; high temperatures cause bushfire in Glilot.

At least 100,000 Israelis visited national parks and nature reserves across the country on Saturday as part of a long Shavuot holiday weekend.

 

  

According to Israel's Nature and Parks Authority, visitors sought to escape hot weather at rivers and streams. Among the most popular nature reserves were: Nahal Snir, Hermon Stream (Banias), Nahal Ayun, Tel Dan, and Majrase, as well as some of the authority's beaches in Palmachim, Beit Yanai and Caesarea.

  

Palmachim beach (Photo: Tom Amit)
Palmachim beach (Photo: Tom Amit)

 

Some 6,500 visitors are expected to stay the night at the Nature and Parks Authority's campgrounds. The campground at Palmachim had to be closed due to overcrowding.

 

Israelis escaping the heat at the Tel Aviv beach (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Israelis escaping the heat at the Tel Aviv beach (Photo: Yaron Brener)

 

The long holiday weekend also sent many to the Kinneret's shores. Some 50,000 visitors were reported at the lake in the morning hours of Saturday, nearly half of which were at Kinneret Municipal Association beaches, mostly on the eastern side of the lake.

 

Shavuot celebrations in Kibbutz Gonen (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Shavuot celebrations in Kibbutz Gonen (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

 

Many visitors attended Shavuot celebrations in nearly 200 kibbutizim across the country, which are expected to continue on Sunday as well. Some 400,000 people are expected to attend the Bikkurim (first fruit) ceremonies in kibbutzim.

 

Shavuot celebrations in Kibbutz Gonen (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Shavuot celebrations in Kibbutz Gonen (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

 

The Ceremony of Bikkurim has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, with kibbutzim placing an emphasis on Shavuot's links to working the land.

 

Firefighter putting out fire in Glilot (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Firefighter putting out fire in Glilot (Photo: Yaron Brener)

 

At the Jezreel Valley (Emek Yezreel), the Ceremony of Bikkurim is done in conjunction with the annual Milk and Honey Festival. The main Ceremony of Bikkurim in the valley was scheduled to take place at 5 pm Sunday at Kfar Yehoshua.



 

The rising temperatures and strong winds caused a bushfire near the Glilot car sales complex. Five firefighting teams were called to the scene.

 

"This is a fire in an open area that is hard to get to. There is a lot of smoke," Tel Aviv Fire Chief Doron Netanel said. "The fire is currently under control, but it will continue burning into the evening hours."

 

Gilad Morag, Ahiya Raved, Shahar Hay and Becky Ezran contributed to this report.

 


First published: 05.23.15, 20:01
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