Jerusalem Day, marking the unification of the capital 51 years ago, will commence on Sunday, with many special events planned, culminating with the US Embassy's long-anticipated inauguration on Monday.
A celebratory government meeting was held on Sunday morning at the Bible Lands Museum in the capital, during which the government approved a series of decisions to bolster Israel's capital, including the approval of a five-year plan allocating NIS 350 million to the Old City and imposing sanctions on government offices that are not planning to move to Jerusalem.
A state memorial ceremony commemorating the Ethiopian Jews who perished on their way to Israel will be held at 12pm. In attendance will be President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Immigration and Integration Sofa Landver, Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev, as well as Keses (spiritual leaders of Ethiopian Jews) and other dignitaries from the Ethiopian community.
A state memorial ceremony commemorating the Six-Day War's fallen soldiers will take place at 2pm on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, with President Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in attendance.
Jerusalem's residents traditionally mark Jerusalem Day with the "Flag Dance" march across the city, beginning at the city center and ending at the Western Wall.
The Flag Dance march led to road closures from 3pm to 9pm. The following streets, as well as the streets leading to them, were closed to traffic: Ben Zvi, Bezalel, King George, Hillel, Jaffa, Tzahal Square, Haim Barlev, Sultan Suleiman, Jericho Road, and HaOfel Road.
The light train operated its services from the Mount Herzl station to Jerusalem Central Station and from Heil HaAvir station to Damascus Gate between 3pm and 8pm.
As the march started, thousands flooded the capital's streets, chanting celebratory songs in a merry, seemingly endless procession.
In light of Monday's ceremony for the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, teenagers and yeshiva students from across the country stood in front of the American consulate building and sang hymns to Jerusalem.
The march then advanced to the Damascus Gate, where large police and Border Guard forces isolated the parade route from the Arab population in east Jerusalem.
During the march, some 200 Tag Meir activists took part in the "Flower March" in the Old City of Jerusalem, handing flowers to both Jewish and Muslim residents of the city to promote tolerance and unity.
In the past, racist incidents overshadowed the march as it passed through the Muslim Quarter, with participants vandalizing Muslim merchants' stores and singing racist songs.
The Muslim merchants have announced they will keep their stores open during this year's Flag Dance march, despite the police's order to close them.
Activists of the organization Tag Meir—Light in Place of Terror will hold an alternative event, the March of Flowers, during which flowers will be handed out to the Old City's residents as a token of tolerance and solidarity several hour prior the Flag Dance march.
At 5pm the Jerusalem Movement's Families' March will take place along HaMesila (Railway) Park in the city accompanied by the Marsh Dondurma musical group. The march will end with a celebratory event at the First Station complex.
Jerusalem Day will conclude with a state ceremony taking place at Ammunition Hill.