This post comes from Israel’s Mediterranean hotspot, Tel Aviv. If you’re planning to visit Israel be sure to check out Shlomo Sixt for car rental, the local experts who have chosen their favourite fiestas for UTB below.

White City Music Festival (May)

For ten days every May one of the oldest quarters in Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek, is home to a boutique music festival which includes jazz, funk, rock and roll, and a mixture of other genres as wide ranging as Indian folk and Balkan Beat. Once a rundown slum, Neve Tzedek has become of the most sought after addresses in the city, with its pretty buildings and maze of narrow winding streets. Israeli and international musicians converge on the picturesque neighborhood to create a unique event for music lovers.

Gay Pride Weekend (June)

Photo credit: the-meir on Flickr

In a global survey organized by American Airlines to find the world’s best gay destinations, Tel Aviv topped the poll and was named the world’s best gay city. The annual Gay Pride festival has become one of the city’s biggest attractions for gay and lesbian tourists, and one of the main events on the city’s calendar. The parade is the highlight, and usually takes place on the second Friday in June.

Jaffa Nights (July and August)

The ancient, stone streets of Jaffa (in Hebrew: Yafo) are the setting for a series of bustling cultural and entertainment nights in Summer. The working week in Israel is Sunday to Thursday, and every Thursday night throughout July and August, crowds descend largely around the flea market area, where there are concerts with some of Israel’s leading musicians, classical concerts, jazz sessions and ethnic music performances, street theatre performances, art exhibitions, yoga and meditation, activities for children, and market stalls selling craft ware and artisan food.

Hummus Festival (August)

Photo credit: n0nick on Flickr

Taking place in HaYarkon Park in the northern part of the city is the annual event dedicated to Israel’s national dish. Tel Aviv’s top hummus joints take part, and hungry attendees can sample from as many as they can manage. Apart from tasting chickpea based foodstuff, visitors can enjoy belly dancing performances and traditional Middle Eastern music, in keeping with the Arabian origins of the hummus.

ICon Festival (October)

First held in 1998, ICon has been growing every year since, and is Israel’s largest science fiction and fantasy get-together. Held at Tel Aviv Cinemateque, the city’s main art house complex, the convention runs for five days, attracting thousands of visitors each day. The event features lectures, stage play, movies, roleplays and a sci-fi memorabilia market. The event organisers are various different fan groups and clubs, and the Geffen Literature Award for original and translated science fiction and fantasy literature is given during the festival.

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