Braving storms, nation marks Israel’s 67th birthday
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Braving storms, nation marks Israel’s 67th birthday

Israelis take to parks, beaches on Independence Day to barbecue, watch the air force flyover

  • Israelis watching a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Danielle Shitrit/Flash90)
    Israelis watching a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Danielle Shitrit/Flash90)
  • Israelis barbecue during the celebrations of the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israelis barbecue during the celebrations of the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are greeted by Israeli soldiers at a ceremony for outstanding soldiers as part of Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations, at the President's residence in Jerusalem. April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are greeted by Israeli soldiers at a ceremony for outstanding soldiers as part of Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations, at the President's residence in Jerusalem. April 23, 2015 (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
  • Israelis celebrating on Independence Day in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. ( Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israelis celebrating on Independence Day in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. ( Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israelis watching an aerial demonstration over a Tel Aviv beach by Israeli Air Force planes on Israel's 67th Independence Day, April 23, 2015. ׂ(Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
    Israelis watching an aerial demonstration over a Tel Aviv beach by Israeli Air Force planes on Israel's 67th Independence Day, April 23, 2015. ׂ(Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
  • The IDF orchestra and singers from various army bands perform at a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President's Residence in Jerusalem as a part of Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
    The IDF orchestra and singers from various army bands perform at a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President's Residence in Jerusalem as a part of Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)

Though snow and scattered rain showers fell in parts of the country, thousands of Israeli citizens and visitors gathered Thursday in parks and beaches, at official ceremonies and even in the streets to celebrate Independence Day.

The festivities began Wednesday night, in accordance with the Jewish lunar calendar, with parties, concerts and fireworks in cities across the country.

Israelis woke on Thursday to clouds and scattered showers, but nevertheless the resilient population visited museums and army bases, attended official ceremonies, watched the IAF flyover and — in keeping with Israeli tradition — barbecued.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin attended a formal ceremony decorating 120 outstanding IDF soldiers. The prime minister also attended the annual Bible competition, and congratulated this year’s winner — 15-year-old Eyal Matas of Rehovot.

A surfer watches and Israeli Air Force aerial acrobatics demonstration on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash90)
A surfer watches and Israeli Air Force aerial acrobatics demonstration on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash90)
Israelis barbecue during the celebration of the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis barbecue during the celebration of the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers pose with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara after a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President's residence in Jerusalem as part of Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
Israeli soldiers pose with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara after a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President’s residence in Jerusalem as part of Israel’s 67th Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
A group of Israelis enjoy a barbecue in the park despite the inclement weather to celebrate the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A group of Israelis enjoy a barbecue in the park despite the inclement weather to celebrate the 67th Independence Day of Israel in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis play with "snow spray", on the streets of Jerusalem, as Israel's celebrates its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis play with “snow spray”, on the streets of Jerusalem, as Israel’s celebrates its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli man prepares to fly a kite decorated with the Israeli flag during the Independece Day celebrations in a Jerusalem park on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli man prepares to fly a kite decorated with the Israeli flag during the Independece Day celebrations in a Jerusalem park on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis watch a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the Knesset in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis watch a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the Knesset in Jerusalem on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The IDF orchestra and singers from various army bands perform at a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President's Residence in Jerusalem as a part of Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
The IDF orchestra and singers from various army bands perform at a ceremony honoring outstanding soldiers at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem as a part of Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin jokes with soldiers as he inspects the ranks during a ceremony for outstanding servicemen as part of Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015 at the President's residence in Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin jokes with soldiers as he inspects the ranks during a ceremony for outstanding servicemen as part of Israel’s 67th Independence Day celebrations on April 23, 2015 at the President’s residence in Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90)
Israelis watching a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015. ׂ(photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
Israelis watching a demonstration of the Israeli Air Force on the 67th Independence Day of Israel over the beach in Tel Aviv on April 23, 2015. ׂ(photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
Eyal Matas, the winner of the annual Bible Quiz held at the Jerusalem Theater on Israel's Independence Day, receives his award from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 23, 2015. (photo credit: Haim Zach / GPO)
Eyal Matas, the winner of the annual Bible Quiz held at the Jerusalem Theater on Israel’s Independence Day, receives his award from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 23, 2015. (photo credit: Haim Zach / GPO)
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