Lila Levan(White Night) is a new yearly tradition in Tel Aviv. UNESCO named Tel Aviv the White City in 2003 and ever since, Tel Aviv has been holding a night to celebrate it’s status and give it’s citizens a city-wide party. Just part of the White Night events include cultural and art centers, stores, restaurants, and clubs staying open late, with many outdoor performances that are open to the public and mostly free.
It’s hard to explain to or prepare someone for Tel Aviv’s White Night because there is no comparable American holiday to liken it to. People who drive their cars in Tel Aviv are nuts. There is little to no parking anyway in Tel Aviv, but on Lila Levan, every space, even those that aren’t parking spots, are filled with cars. My advice if you’re not living or staying in Tel Aviv is to take a bus into the city in the afternoon, rent a hostel room, and stay overnight. The party goes on until way after the buses stop running and if you’re able to get a taxi, it’s a small miracle. Would you really want to waste a miracle on getting a cab?
500,000 people are invited to this party and everyone is bringing a friend.
Just a few of the incredible events taking place around the city:
50 Illuminated Bauhaus Buildings
35 different artists performing at the Bialik complex: whitenightvi
- A Public Sing-Along at the Old Train Station(Hatachana)
- Mosh Ben Ari performing at Banana Beach
- Performance at Opera House of Hebrew Songs
- Numerous poetry readings
- Multitude of Tours by the Tel Aviv-Jaffo Tourism Association
- Flamenco performances
- Parisian events sponsored by the French Embassy
I couldn’t write about everything that happened that night. Even Ferris Bueller could not have made it to every single event of the night, and certainly not to have a meaningful experience. By choosing jazz over a tour of the Bauhaus buildings, or dancing on the beach over the opera performance, one does miss out on something phenomenal, but the idea that so many people are celebrating the existence of Tel Aviv and the prestige of being declared a World Heritage Site is binding, and though a visitor or resident of Tel Aviv cannot possibly take in everything Lila Levan has to offer, one cannot possibly be disappointed in the evening.
With that in mind, my pictures of Lila Levan are not sufficient. Check out this Tel Avivian’s photoblog of the night. Organizers of next year’s Lila Levan events will have to work very hard to top this years’. But, if I know Tel Aviv, and if I know Israelis, they won’t have any trouble making Lila Levan 2011 as unforgettable as 2010.