The Festival of Festivals or Holiday of Holidays Festival
Hebrew: חג החגים
Sometimes referred to as the Festival of Festivals and sometimes the Holiday of Holidays Festival, this annual festival takes place in Haifa toward the end of November and through December until Christmas. Hopefully the rain will stay away and winter weather be pleasant enough for this unique outdoor event not to be interrupted in any way.
A month of festivities, cultural activities, performances and events marks the celebration of the three major religious groups that live in mutual harmony, cooperation, tolerance and respect in Haifa. While the Jewish population celebrates Channukah, the Christians are celebrating Christmas and the Moslems are celebrating Eid-al-Adha.
The first Mayor of Haifa - Hassan Shukri - initiated the Festival of Festivals in 1914, and since then it has grown in size and popularity. This festival hi-lights the uniqueness of Haifa and its residents. The current Mayor of Haifa - Yona Yahav - describes the Festival of Festivals as one "without boundaries of culture and religion". Yahav said in his 2009 official welcome "We residents of Haifa and its many guests have nothing left but to show up and rejoice".
The Festival of Festivals is held in the Wadi NisNas neighborhood of Haifa, between the Hadar neighborhood and the downtown area. The area between Rechov Khoury, Sderot Hazionut, Rechov Shabbtai Levi and Rechov HaWadi is the main location of the festival.
By foot, by car, by bus or by taxi:
Haifa has man alleys and stairs that bisect the slopes of the Carmel Mountain. In the Central Carmel from Yef Nof street a staircase, close to the Dan Panorama Hotel, sign-posts the beginning of a walk down the mountain to the Wadi and beyond.
It should take about half an hour to get to the Festival of Festivals by foot. There are a few hundred stairs so do not attempt if you have bad knees! This is a wonderful way for you to see the real Haifa, the suburbs and the homes. The stairs will take you through Rechov Henrietta Szold, HaHashmonaim, Golomb, Hess, Arlozorov, Hillel, Massada, Herzliya and Shabbtai Levi Streets.
By car: parking is available on Shabbtai Levi, Y.L. Peretz, Ashkelon and Al Isfahani Streets. Parking is in serious demand. You may however be lucky enough to find a spot in one of the side streets. Be careful, the streets are narrow and it is a residential area so make sure you are not blocking someones entrance or a thoroughfare.
By bus - all buses going to the old Egged bus station from the Carmel Center go past the Wadi. There is a limited bus service in Haifa on Saturdays.
What you can see
On the Emile Toma stage on HaWadi Street folk dancing performances, Dabka and Sufi twirling dances are held.
Bet Hageffen - the Jewish Arab Center is also hosts numerous performances.
In addition performances and other Festival of Festival events are also generally held at the following locations: