Israel celebrated its 25th anniversary of its “Day of Lights” festival, which marks the anniversary of the founding of Israel.
The ceremony marked the first time the country had ever held a public celebration of the event.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, and his two children, Asher and Rachel, were on hand at the opening ceremony.
“Israel is blessed by this special day, a day when all the Jewish people came together, the entire country was lit and all the lights were shining,” he said, referring to the date of Israel’s founding.
“We are celebrating our country’s birthday and I have to tell you that it is a great time.”
The country celebrates its 25 years since it founded on the Day of Lights celebration, which was held on October 3, 1948.
The Day of Light commemorates the beginning of the Jewish community in Israel.
It is also the day of a great Jewish community: the community that grew from the ashes of the Second World War, and was established during the era of the Zionist movement.
The event, organized by the Jewish Agency, was attended by over 20,000 participants, who took part in ceremonies in the Old City, in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, in the coastal city of Haifa and in the southern Negev desert.
Netanyahu spoke at the ceremony, which took place in front of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
He then went on to the Holy Land, where he took part, along with a number of guests, in a prayer service.
He was accompanied by the head of the Israeli Police Force, Oren Hazan, and the head at the countrys embassy in Washington, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The president of the European Jewish Congress, Robert Fico, said Netanyahu’s speech was “a landmark” for Israel, and added that he hoped the celebrations would continue as long as Israel is a democracy.
“The Day Of Lights is an important milestone, but it is also a reminder that there is still much to be done in this country,” he told AFP news agency.
“It is a symbol of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”