Up to 56,000 people-including more than 1,000 from abroad-took part in the 23rd annual Jerusalem march on Tuesday (11 October).
Up to 56,000 people-including more than 1,000 from abroad-took part in the 23rd annual Jerusalem march on Tuesday (11 October). The marchers also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the recapture of the old city of Jerusalem.
SYNOPSIS: Adults began their march at dawn, starting 25 kilometres from the city centre. Children had a shorter walk of 18 kilometres. The sound of tambourines and singing helped the marchers keep up a brisk pace towards Jerusalem.
Each year participants receive commemorative medals and certificates and these two walkers were obviously proud of their part in so many previous marches.
the day was not a public holiday, but many of the marchers were sponsored by their employers, including several airlines, and were allowed time off work.
On reaching Jerusalem, the walk turned into a formal parade through the city, watched by thousands of onlookers. The event was revived in 1954 as a traditional Jewish ceremony. It is based on ancient pilgrimages made to Jewish shrines and always falls during the Feast of the Tabernacles during the Sukkot Festival.
Official onlookers included the Israeli Army Chief-of-Staff, General Mordechai Gur, and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kollek. The event is arranged by the Israeli Defence Force and the parade included a march past by singing soldiers.
This year's march was one of the biggest ever, creating bad traffic jams and resulting in public transport services running up to four hours behind schedule.