Yom haSho’a – the Day of Remembrance for the Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust (Hebrew “Yom HaShoah”) is a national day of remembrance in Israel commemorating the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.
This year’s Day of Remembrance for the Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust is on Thursday, April 8, 2021, with the state opening ceremony beginning at Yad Vashem on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 20:00 (19:00 CET).
Broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Day of Remembrance
for the Martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust
April 7, 2021, 7:00 pm
Yom HaShoah is a dignified day that, according to Jewish tradition, begins at sunset on the 27th of Nissan and ends in the evening of the following day. Places of entertainment remain closed and commemorative ceremonies are held throughout the country. The central ceremonies, on the eve and the following morning, will be held at Yad Vashem and televised. To mark the beginning of Memorial Day, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families – in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister – gather with other citizens to participate in the memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem, where six torches representing the six million Jews murdered are lit. The ceremony at Yad Vashem the following morning begins with the sounding of a siren that can be heard throughout the country for two minutes. During its duration, all work is halted, pedestrians stop, cars pull over to the side of the road, and everything stands still to pay respect to the victims of the Holocaust. During Yom haSho’a, very many public institutions in Israel are closed, television and radio do not run entertainment programs, but mourning music or documentaries on the Holocaust. All flags fly at half-mast.
Then dignitaries and representatives of survivors’ associations and institutions lay wreaths at the feet of the six torches. Other memorial sites in Israel, such as the Kibbutz of Ghetto Fighters and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also hold commemorative ceremonies. The same goes for schools, military bases, municipalities and workplaces. Throughout the day, television and radio broadcast programs about the Holocaust. In recent years, other countries and Jewish communities have adopted Yom HaShoah, the 27th of Nissan, as a day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.
It is followed exactly one week later, on the 4th of Iyar, by Yom haZikaron, the “Day of Remembrance of the Fallen Israeli Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism,” so the entire intervening week is marked by mourning and remembrance.