Winters in Jerusalem are typically mild with some cold and rainy days (with temperatures nearly never dropping below freezing temperature). Once in a while you may chance-encounter snow storm in the city, and in recent years people have seen about a couple of huge snow storms.
Wintertime in Jerusalem is also the perfect time to warm yourself up to the city’s cozy venues and partake in its enriching events. Israeli’s capital sure knows how to stay warm by keeping itself busy with a flurry of events. Among the most notable is Chamshushalayim.
Chamshushalayim (or Hamshushalayim) – is a word play in Hebrew for a long weekend (itself a play on the Hebrew for Thursday & Friday) and “Jerusalem” (“Yerushalayim”). It is now a regular feature of the Jerusalem year. For four weekends, this winter Jerusalem festival is putting on a series of special activities – covering all points in the cultural spectrum. These events and activities are usually held at museums and cultural facilties throughout the city during the winter.
There are literally hundreds of events at museums, concerts, tourist attractions, street fairs, dance performances, exhibitions and the list goes on and on. And these events are great and varied — from the Renaissance-era classical music at the Israel Museum to chess competitions at the L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art to jazz music at the Tower of David Museum.
Among the events at the Chamshushalayim are:
- Hanukkah – eight days of festivities and events; one of the highlights is the Jewish Festival of Lights.
- Christmas – Christians celebrate one of the most important and cherished holidays.
- New Year’s Eve – Welcome the Gregorian New Year with dinners, parties, fireworks, and other events and activities.
- International Dance Week – performances by Israeli and international dancers at selected venues around Jerusalem.
- International Music Showcase – the best of Israeli music — rock, jazz, indie, and world music — at the Yellow Submarine, a live music venue in Jerusalem that promotes grassroots talent.
- Jewish Film Festival – screening of dozens of films which deal with Jewish identity, plus lectures, concerts, and a lot more.
- Shaon Horef Cultural Festival – enjoy free concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural goings-on.
- Sounds of the Old City – Israeli and international artists join to bring the musical traditions to life in the Old City.
If you plan to visit Israel, specifically Jerusalem, this time of the year, you can find several places to stay while you are in the city. You can check out several hotel options, the best accommodation deals, and the best vacation rentals in Jerusalem.
So why not take some timeout and visit Jerusalem for a day or a weekend over the next month?
A full program can be found on the official Chamshushalayim website at Jerusalem Hamshushalyim Weekends