Jerusalem: Exhaustion in August

Most of Israel may be on holiday in August, but in Jerusalem

things begin to heat up and not just the weather.

After the three sad weeks leading up to Tisha B’Av,

 mourning turns into serious celebrating,

with wedding season and festival time. 

During the first week of August,

"photo Israel Museum"

 the Israel Museum hosted a successful Israeli Wine Festival.

Festivals once again range from,

" picture sign in Hebrew", "Image J Street", "photo Hebrew sign "

an International Puppet Festival to a beer festival at the end of the month!

Schools are out and summer camps are over,

so it is time once again to keep the kids busy.

"khutsot Hayozer"

Khutzot Hayotser, The International Arts and Crafts Fair,

near the Old City in the Sultan’s Pool, with its

"photo arts and craft fair"

 huge stage for nightly entertainment has been held for almost 40 years.

Running from August 6-18 and  similar to recent years,

"picture kites", "photo J Street", "image Art festival"

food, local artists’ works and international crafts are for sale.

A relative newcomer to the August festival season is the Balabasta Festival,

 held on Sunday nights in August in Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

"photo shuk", "image machane yehuda market"

Some businesses closed early,

"fruit market picture"

but others were well stocked.

Balabasta seemed more small child-friendly than it was last year,

"photo puppet show"

with puppet shows,

"photo balloons"



balancing acts,


a juggler and a 5:00pm advertised start time.

By 6:30 pm, the laundry was hung and the alleyways were getting crowded.


I caught a familiar face from last year

as he was coming out of a store,


and he quickly gained new fans.


There was music of all kinds

"art with seeds"

and art of many types,

"photo art"

culture in Jerusalem is so varied it can be hard to define,

and to take it all in can be exhausting.

It is probably impossible to attend all the Jerusalem festivals,

but if you want to try, here are a few more  suggestions and

 more Balabasta photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.

Summer in the Shuk

In the Machane Yehudah Market, The Shuk,

the piles of fresh garlic of spring,

have been replaced by the piles of summer fruit.

The old and narrow Jerusalem streets in the area are often crowded,

but on Monday nights in July, the crowds

have come for the Balabasta Cultural Festival.

As the sun sets the celebration begins.

Numerous musical performances,

live bands,


and groups,

 all performed in the alleyways and corners of The Shuk.

Games were available

and many performers entertained the crowds for free,

but this mime had a sign requesting a coin to start his dance moves.

Artists painted in many locations,

adding more color,

to the market event.

Well known for its fresh food,

there were actually some people who were in The Shuk to do their shopping.

If you could get close to the displays,

there were bargains.

The Balabasta Festival has grown from last year.

Five years ago The Shuk was empty, a scary and dark place at night,

now it is filled with people and roses.