Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) marks the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. It is observed on or near the fifth of the Hebrew month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls in April. It is preceded by Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day).
On May 14, 1948, soon-to-be Prime Minister David Ben Gurion issued a declaration of the State of Israel. It was recognized by the United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries, though not by the surrounding Arab states.
The festivities begin the evening before, when Israelis take to streets across the country to attend outdoor concerts, parties and barbecues, as well to watch fireworks displays.