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Tu B'Av: Israel's Day of Love

Tu B'Av is an extremely popular holiday in Israel. This Jewish holiday of love comes every summer accompanied by countless weddings, proposals, and romantic dates. Tu B’Av has become the israeli valentine's day, but the festivities from so long ago were very different from today.

During the Second Temple period, on Tu B'Av - the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av, unmarried Jewish women would dress in borrowed white gowns and dance under the light of the full moon in a vineyard to attract a husband.

Sounds a bit crazy, but this traditional ritual and celebration were in honor of the lift on the ban on intermarriage between the twelve tribes of Israel. Others say this practice was celebrating the end of the prohibition of marrying the daughters of the tribe of Benjamin.

White Gowns = Equality

What is fascinating about this ritual is the fact that these unmarried Jewish women borrowed these white gowns. Avoiding using social status to attract a suiter, all the women, no matter their wealth, had to wear a white gown.

This removed any display of social class allowing women who could not afford a colored gown to participate without embarrassment. On top of that, the women traded gowns to avoid any embarrassment on behalf of a woman who couldn’t afford a gown thus making all the women equal in the eyes of the men.

Hupah, Jewish wedding canopy at the beach
Jewish wedding canopy at the beach / Yonina F

Modern Day Celebrations in Israel

Today, you won't find women dancing in flowing white gowns in vineyards anymore, rather, women in their white bridal gowns walking towards their future partners.

Tu B'Av is considered one of the most coveted days of the year to get married in Israel. Not only are there countless weddings across the country but it is also a popular day to propose marriage.

If you find yourself not getting married or proposing marriage, head over to the countless clubs and parties happening this dreamy night and dance the night away.


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