The events at the Machane Yehuda market are hosted by local restaurants and bars. We recommend that you check in directly with the specific venue and make reservations when necessary.
Ongoing events:The restaurants and bars in the shuk often host events including live music, themed special food evenings, food and wine tastings, art exhibitions, and more, throughout the week and on weekends. Café Avrum hosts folk nights with live music almost every night of the week, and Café Mizrachi, the first upscale café in the Shuk, offers live music and tapas on Sunday nights in the summer months. Thought provoking movie screenings, art exhibits, and lectures take place regularly at avant-garde gallery and performance space Barbur, and locals and visitors are invited to make use of its community garden as well. Events are dynamic and space is often limited, so it’s best to check directly with the relevant venue and reserve a place in advance before heading out.
Fall High Holiday season events:Shuk Kaparot: Kaparot is an ancient atonement ritual performed by Jews between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The ritual involves waving a chicken above one's head while chanting a prayer for atonement. It is mostly the ultra orthodox that still perform the ritual with a chicken – many use money nowadays instead. In recent years, the Jerusalem municipality has greatly increased enforcement of ritual chicken slaughter, allowing the ritual to be performed only at pre-allocated, supervised stations, one of which is set up yearly near Shuk Machane Yehuda.Shuk Arba Minim: Throughout Sukkot, Jews in Jerusalem and beyond gather the four species (date palm, myrtle, willow and citron - etrog) and shake them all about in a ritual central to the holiday. Every year in the days leading up to the holiday, an area adjacent to the Machane Yehuda market is transformed into a lively bazaar at which dozens of vendors sell the ritual produce as well as Sukkah decorations and other holiday related items.
Tu Bishvat events:In advance of Tu Bishvat, the new year for trees and symbolic start of spring, the shuk often celebrates winter's end with costumed street performers and mouthwatering displays of nuts, seeds and dried fruits for sale at discounted prices.
Purim and Independence Day events:Purim and Independence Day are prime opportunities for late night partying. On Purim night, costumed revelers take to the streets in and around the Shuk and attempt not to clash with police and sleepy local residents as DJs blast music and wild dancing and drunken merry making ensue late into the night.Independence day is the one day in the year on which the ban on loud music after 11 pm is waived. Jerusalemites spill out into the streets around town, including the area near the Machane Yehuda market, with requisite plastic inflatable hammers and silly string, and get down to the sound of Israeli pop blasted in the streets, both live and from sound systems under a nighttime sky lit up by thundering celebratory fireworks.
Summer events:On Monday nights in the summer months, the Balabasta festival brings the Shuk to life after hours, transforming it into a lively carnival, with special events and attractions including music, street performances, food contests and giveaways, dancers, djs, video art, origami workshops and exhibits, and more. In addition, the markets sale stands, cafes, pubs, and restaurants in the area all extend their opening hours.
Tabula Rassa: Urban Art ProjectPainters, sculptors, photographers, and graphic artists collaborated to transform the areas in and around the Machane Yehuda market into a huge urban art project. Art pieces on display include a statue of Teddy Kolek made completely from recycled bottle caps, self portraits of artists from varying backgrounds who have come together for the project, a huge backgammon board, and more. The art was created before they eyes of onlookers in September 2011: garbage cans, walls, and concrete were all game for artistic transformation, the results of which are set to be on display for at least a year. The project was initiated by Jerusalem Municipality's Arts branch in cooperation with the Shuk Vendors Association, New Spirit, and the Lev Hair Community Council.