NORTHThere is a buzz this holiday season from kibbutzim in the Galilee to communities on the Gaza border as the country holds a honey and beekeeping festival, running until October 29.Visitors at the “Honey Festival” are able to meet with beekeepers, watch beehives through glass apiaries, engage in workshops and taste a variety of types of honey, which is traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana to ensure a sweet future.The festival will take place throughout the country in a range of communities, including the northern moshavim and communities of Manof, Peki’in, Michmanim, Shadmot Devora, Alon Hagalil and Alonei Abba. In the South, the festival will take place at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Ein Yahav, Kibbutz Shamir, and in the Center, Kfar Bilu and Kfar Chabad.Local honey production this year is expected to yield some 2,500 tons of high-quality product from about 100,000 hives scattered throughout the country, according to Honey Council CEO Herzl Avidor.Some 500 beekeepers work to cultivate the country’s hives.Entrance is free to the festival, which is open daily from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Haifa rolls out red carpet for international film festival The Haifa International Film Festival is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors and feature nearly 300 screenings as it takes place from October 15 to 24.In its 32nd year, Israel’s pioneer international film festival is rolling out the red carpet for some 170 premieres of new films.About 300,000 people in total are expected to participate in the festival’s various activities, including outdoor events, screenings, galas, masterclasses, film score concerts and workshops.The festival includes three film competitions: the Israeli Film Competition for feature films, TV dramas, documentaries and acting; the Gold Anchor Competition Mediterranean Cinema, awarded to a film made in the region; and the Filmmakers of Tomorrow – FEDEORA Competition, juried by the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean.A handful of non-competitive programs are also available at the festival, along with a number of professional conferences. Many international guests are also slated to attend the cinematic celebration, including American actor William Dafoe.For the full schedule of showtimes and events: www.haifaff.co.il/ CENTER Tel Aviv to be transformed into sci-fi, fantasy worldCome dressed as Khaleesi or Obi Wan-Kenobi as Tel Aviv celebrates an out-of-this-world experience from October 18 to 20 at the 20th annual Icon Festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing.Hundreds of people are expected to participate in the imaginative annual celebration at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, which this year will feature more than 250 events, including lectures, panel discussions, contests, professional workshops, comical and musical shows, as well as comics and anime events.The festival ground will also consist of a gaming tent, where participants can test their strategy skills with various board games.Festivalgoers will be able to take on the roles of fantasy characters and engage in mock live battles using props at the “colosseum” area. There will also be a station where participants can also assume the role of a fictional character and take part in a narrative experience based on their fictional world. Also available at the festival will be a “miniature” station where revelers can play with microcosms of fantasy worlds.The festival will also feature award-winning British science fiction novelist Charles Strauss as the guest of honor. In the past such figures have included world-renowned authors, actors and directors such as the celebrated novelist Orson Scott Card, known for Ender’s Game, and actor-director John de Lancie, known for his role as Q in Star Trek.The event is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Entrance is free, but fees vary for select activities.Celebrate Succot at Sarona To celebrate Succot, a variety of festive temporary shelters will be set up in the Sarona complex from October 18 to 20.Each of the succot erected throughout the compound and on the balconies of its buildings will match the business it represents.The public will be able to enjoy various events and attractions taking place in the area during the autumn festival.SOUTH Eilat turns up the heat with desert marathonAthletes can take to the scenic mountainous trails of the Negev Desert during Eilat’s International Desert Marathon on November 18.Race participants can choose from four race categories: a 42.2-kilometer heat, a 21.1-kilometer heat, a 10-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer run.The race’s starting line is located at the southern Red Sea resort city’s Sun Bay on the Herod Hotel Promenade.The entire route of the rugged, sandy race trails will be marked with direction signs.Standard registration ends on October 23; registration prices range from NIS 90 to NIS 250. Late registration closes on November 13, and fees range from NIS 120 to NIS 310.