Tens of Thousands Visit Mt. Meron as Israelis Celebrate Lag Ba'omer

Many believe Lag Ba'omer to be the anniversary of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai's death, buried on Mt. Meron; fire services on high alert as people turn out en masse to bonfires marking the holiday.

Lag Ba'omer
Children at a bonfire in Tel Aviv's Kikar Medina. Tali Meir

Israelis celebrated Lag Ba'omer throughout the country Saturday night, with fire services on high alert as people of all ages headed out to bonfires in honor of the holiday.

Tens of thousands have arrived at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai on Mount Meron, a prominent Jewish rabbi from the first century, to honor what many believe to be the anniversary of his death. Close to three thousand police officials have been stationed to secure the area, and a bonfire is scheduled to be lit on the roof of the sage's grave at midnight.

A brush fire broke out in Rosh Ha'ayin earlier Saturday, but it is unclear whether it was due to holiday festivities. Firefighters were successful in containing the blaze.

The Environment Ministry has cautioned the public to refrain from burning plastic objects and painted wood to prevent the emission of toxins. The ministry also stressed the importance of ensuring that all bonfires be put out entirely, and that bonfire sites be left clean.

Israel Electric Company issued a warning not to light bonfires close to power lines to prevent damage.