WATCH: Lag B’Omer celebrations kick off at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Lag B’Omer celebrations have kicked off at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and are being streamed live online.

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men and boys can be seen singing and dancing around a bonfire in the middle of the Western Wall plaza.

This year, the government canceled the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to Mount Meron in the Galilee for fear of rockets from Lebanon, amid daily cross border attacks by Hezbollah terrorists.

In many secular and national religious communities, Lag B’Omer is a relatively minor date. Children and families enjoy bonfires on the eve of Lag B’Omer, whose name means the 33rd day of Omer, the 49-day period that separates Passover from Shavuot.

For many Haredim, it is a major occasion. The Talmud ties it to a plague that claimed the lives of thousands of students of Rabbi Akiva, one of the greatest early rabbinic figures and one of 10 holy martyrs later executed by the Romans for teaching Torah. The plague ended on Lag B’Omer, according to legend.

Canaan Lidor contributed to this report. 

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