Hag Hahahgim Festival in Haifa.
(photo credit: BEIT HAGEFEN)
When the Hag Hahagim (Holiday of Holidays) Festival started out 23 years ago in Haifa, it was a classic exercise in seamless synchronicity. At the time, Hanukka, Christmas and Ramadan coincided – hence the titular choice. As we know, unlike the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars, the Islamic annual cycle does not keep pace with the seasons, hence Ramadan does the rounds of the year, moving back 10 days each year. So, when the 24th edition of the Haifa-based interdenominational event kicks off, on December 14 (through to December 23), Ramadan will still be a long way off, but the sentiment remains intact.The festival was founded by the Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Cultural Center, a non-profit organization that, as the organization’s website states, “strives to establish... shared spaces that contain the diversity of identities and cultures in Israel and worldwide.” The center is located near the formerly mixed Jewish-Arab Wadi Nisnas neighborhood, now home to around 8,000 Arab residents.