With the traditional lighting of twelve torches on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, the State of Israel transitioned from Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for soldiers and civilians killed in battles and terrorist attacks) to Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) and kicked off its 74th anniversary celebrations.
Israelis will celebrate with free outdoor concerts and performances and visits to national parks, beaches and forests across the country.
The official celebration is broadcast on TV channels and networks so that everyone can enjoy the music, dancing and tributes celebrating their independence.
Yom HaAtzmaut recalls that on 1948, Jewish Agency Executive Chairman David Ben Gurion declared in Tel Aviv the end of the British Mandate and the independence of the State of Israel in its ancestral homeland.
The first Knesset (parliament) began to sit with the 120 legislators who emerged from the first national elections on 25 January 1949, in which some 85 % of the electorate participated, Ben Gurion was appointed Prime Minister and Jaim Weizmann, head of the World Zionist Organisation, was elected President.
On 11 May 1949, Israel took its place as the 59th member of the United Nations.