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Diversifying blue and white swarm

by ben May 27 2008
HolidaysThings to do

Jerusalem Day march

Every spring, Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) afternoon draws some of the biggest crowds that the city's streets see all year long, and the vast majority of the people making up the swarm of activity are all from a single demographic. Nationalist-religious youth movements and schools from around the country bring their charges in by the bus-load, and blue-and-white-clad teens celebrate the right to walk from the city center to the Western Wall by exercising that right en masse.

It's a passage that's only been open to people of all faiths since 1967, which means that a year ago was the gala 40th Jerusalem Day march, drawing bigger crowds than usual - increased representations from international and secular Jerusalem lovers among them.

The 2008 celebrations are being marketed by City Hall as "The Closing of the 40th," which sounds far more grand than 41, with four days of events to include entertainment options for all tastes (Jerusalemite's coverage to continue in the coming days). A completely separate Jerusalem Day parade, complete with socialist-themed floats and culminating with a concert at Teddy Stadium, is also in the works, so it will be interesting to see if the pluralistic momentum to the traditional afternoon march will continue on Monday, June 2, at about 15:00.

Photo of thousands of marchers down Jaffa Rd. on Jerusalem Day courtesy of epublicist from flickr under a creative commons license.

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