The Holiday of Holidays festival was founded 20 years ago (1994) by Beit HaGefen Arab-Jewish Cultural Center, the Haifa Municipality and the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood committee. As expressed by its name, the festival marks the different religious holidays that occur in and around the month of December - Hanukkah, Christmas and Ramadan - as a multi-cultural celebration of the neighborly relations that exist within Haifa's diverse population.
These three holidays all celebrate light: the Hanukkah menorah symbolizes the miracle of the cruse of oil and the message of freedom related to Hanukkah, the birth of Jesus represents the light brought to the world at Christmas time (expressed on the stamp by the Christmas tree) and the "panos" lamp used by Muslims in the early days of Islam has become a symbol of Ramadan.
Throughout history, many religions have considered light to be a sign of absolute good and purity which mostly symbolizes miracles, revelations, wisdom and epiphany.
The city of Haifa, which Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua has called "the city of proper integration", is known for its tolerance and for the common areas that it offers to all residents, regardless of religion, race or gender.
The city of Haifa's various leaderships - municipal, religious and community - have always promoted openness, discussion and dealing with the challenge of co-existence through dialog.
The festival is held on four weekends in December and offers a wide range of events:
Art exhibits and walking tours through galleries and public areas throughout the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood, the German Colony and the Lower City of Haifa, outdoor events that include fairs, street performances and open-air stages on Saturdays as well as diverse cultural activities for families and the general public. The events and shows are a true reflection of Haifa's cultural wealth and integration as . microcosm of Israeli society — and all in the spirit of co-existence.
Director, Beit HaGefen
Beit HaGefen was founded in 1963 at the initiative of the Haifa Municipality, which serves as the central financial source for the center's activity as a way D promote the city's vision of living together. Beit HaGefen's activity is based on the belief that meeting and interacting with other cultures is important for realking down barriers and building trust among the lifferent national, ethnic and religious groups that live in Israel in general and in Haifa in particular.