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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Israel Series at HebrewPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Israeli holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 22 White Night in Tel Aviv
In 2003, the “White City” - העיר הלבנה (ha'ir halevana) in Tel Aviv - תל אביב was declared a World Heritage site. Since then, every year in June, the city has celebrated the “White Night” festival with parties and cultural events that last until morning.
Let’s learn about the night that’s all about partying, Tel Aviv style—a night filled with color, music, and motion.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Can you identify the play on words in the name of the festival?
If you don't already know, keep listening! The answer will be revealed at the end of this lesson!
“The White City” - העיר הלבנה (ha’ir halevana) is a nickname given to the older areas of Tel Aviv, whose buildings were built in an architectural style called the International Style. This area features Tel Aviv’s special and historical urban fabric, and most of its buildings were constructed in the 1930s and 40s. In July, 2013, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, declared the “White City” a world heritage site. This declaration constituted international recognition of Tel Aviv’s special architectural qualities.
Tel Aviv celebrates UNESCO’s decision once a year with a festival that’s all about culture - תרבות (Tarbut). In the evening, special lighting illuminates the fifty White City buildings, kicking off the festival’s events. Walking tours and open buses travel all over the city, and hundreds of clubs - מועדונים (moadonim), markets - שווקים (shvakim), museums, and cultural institutions are free to the public all night long. Famous restaurants offer nighttime meals at special prices, and at Tel Aviv University, student films are screened.
On the “White Night”, art goes outdoors. City squares, streets, parks, and beaches have musical, dance, and theater performances, movies are screened, and art is put on display. The special events that occur outside include a ballroom dancing party, sing-alongs, yoga exercises on the beach at sunrise, and a nighttime race on the city streets.
One of the more unusual events during the White Night festival is the earphone party, in which participants dance to the tune of music that they hear through their earphones, using a special smartphone application.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
There’s a play on words in the name of the festival,“White Night”. Can you identify it?
The festival is called “White Night” because it celebrates Tel Aviv, the white city, but there’s another reason for the name. In Hebrew, the term “white night” is an expression meaning roughly to “pull an all-nighter”. Get it?
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? When was the last time you stayed awake all night?
Leave a comment letting us know at HebrewPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!

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When was the last time you stayed awake all night?