Home for the holidays?

All things Succot, all over the country.

acco festival311 (photo credit: eyal landsman)
acco festival311
(photo credit: eyal landsman)
If the excitement of the holidays is not enough, the Chol Hamoed Succot festivals around the country offer yet another chance for a family gathering before resuming the daily routine. Many of these events take place outdoors, celebrating nature and taking advantage of what is left of the summer before temperatures drop.
■ Probably the largest festival during Succot will be the 31st annual Israeli Fringe Theater Festival in Acco. Among the 65 shows, featuring about 300 artists from Israel and abroad, there will be theater shows, street performances, cabaret shows, concerts, art fairs, exhibits and more. The festival attempts to expose the natural beauty of Acco through its outdoor shows and street plays, which will take place around the old city, historical sites and streets and the city's port. This festival also attempts to bring together artists from various cultural backgrounds reflecting the multicultural aspect of the city, and creating a dialogue through discussion panels and other such activities. (September 26-29  www.accofestival.co.il)
■ The green festival in Ashkelon, The Ball is in Our Hands, includes educational activities for the whole family. The event features workshops and live performances about reducing waste and teaching fun and unique ways of recycling. One workshop teaches kids how to make comic books or kites out of paper, while another shows how old shirts can be used to make bags. On the main stage there will be performances with ecological messages, including a percussion act called “Tararam Kids Save the World” as well as songs and dances with the stars of Arutz Hayeladim. The entry “fee” to the green festival is one plastic bottle or one plastic bag. (September 27 and 28 www.ashkelon.muni.il  (08) 679-2325)
■ Keeping with the ecological trend, Hevel Habsor offers agricultural excursions across the Negev, visiting fields and a dairy production plant among other site-seeing activities. There will also be bikerides and jeep rides for kids, as well as organized tours and workshops on making cheese, harvesting olives, soap production, and more. (September 23-30  www.habsor.co.il)
■ The Visitors Center in Bnei Darom offers a more in-depth look into olive oil production, visiting an olive press and teaching kids how to press olives, among other educational activities. (September 26-29. (08) 851-5548/050-861- 6666).
■ Yet another event that exposes and encourages diversity is the 10th annual Muzot Be’Succot Art Festival in Shosham. Six different Succas will be built, each with a different theme and event. In the Peace Succa, there will be a performance by Galit Giat and Hiba Bathish incorporating Israeli and Arab culture through classic songs. The Green Succa, as the name suggests, will promote environmental awareness through the Ten Ecological Commandments exhibit, and through a creative workshop using recycled material. The event aims to emphasize the central message of Succot: hospitality. (September 26-28 www.shoham.muni.il  (03) 972- 3001).
■ The Tamar Festival is another major Succot event. For the 11th year in a row, the festival brings together many well-known Israeli artists, as well as international ones, using nature as the central stage. This year features artists such as Karolina, Hayehudim, Asaf Avidan and the Mojos, and the world renowned Reggae star, Matisyahu, sharing a stage with Balkan Beat Box. The shows will take place in areas around the Dead Sea, including the Metzada archeological site, the botanical garden in Ein Gedi, and the Nahal Zohar wadi, among others. (September 24-29  www.tamarfestival.co.il  (02) 623-7000)
■ The Childhood Sounds 2010 Festival in Holon is another family event featuring music and theater shows. This year, it celebrates 100 years since the birth of Natan Alterman. Shows include “Yeladujazz,” performing popular children songs through jazz; an opera version of Hansel and Gretel; a performance of young pianists; and a performance of a play written by Gilad Shalit when he was 11-years-old called When the Shark and the Fish First Met. (September 26-28 www.hth.co.il. (03) 502- 3001/2/3)
■ Mivtzar Yehiyam will showcase the 18th annual Renaissance Festival, celebrating the era through music and art reflecting its revolutionary culture. Artists include Israeli musicians and several international ones from Hungary, France and Germany. It will also feature an “artist’s street” with blacksmiths, carpenters and other artisans reenacting the various occupations of the time. (September 27-28  www.lagalil.com  04-9521175).