Partying from 8 p.m. until nearly sunrise, thousands of people danced in the streets of Tel Aviv last Thursday for the biggest all-night celebration of the year, Laila Lavan (White Night).White Night, held annually, commemorates Tel Aviv’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Yet the event is much more than a simple celebration. Tel Aviv's broad boulevards - especially centrally-located Rothschild Boulevard - were packed with performances and party-goers alike. On one block, a group of Hasidic rabbis were dancing, drumming, and playing the shofar. On another, acrobats twirled sticks tipped with fire, much to the amazement of the crowd. Further down, the joyous noise that normally fills Tel Aviv's streets was replaced with silence, as revelers danced with headphones on, playing their own personal concert.
Walking down the center of the street brought constant entertainment, with bands at nearly every block. Party-goers flooded the streets, some dancing in the streets, others perched atop trees, watching those below.
The event, held annually each June, caters to all ages, though unsurprisingly, as the hours til dawn neared closer, the crowd had thinned to twenty-somethings still gleefully enjoying the night.