There are many ways to celebrate Israeli Independence Day – Yom HaAtzmaut. In Israel, some throw confetti. Some take white foam and shpritz others that will not appreciate it. I take the white foam cans from the children and whack them with it. However, the one tradition that all Israelis share is the BBQ at the Park. This is pretty straightforward so if you want to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut like an Israeli, here’s how:

Make a Mangal

Known as the Mangal, and Al-HaEsh/on the fire, the Israeli BBQ should be too small to cook on. It is traditionally the size of a matchbox. If it can fit both a hotdog and chicken wing on it at the same time, it is too big.

You can find these contraptions for outdoor cooking in Israeli grocery stores, such as Super, Giant, Mega, Great, Huge and Gadol (apparently Israeli supermarkets like to emphasize their size). These supermarkets will also provide you with the necessary food items for the family, such as 50 gram bags of party size Doritos.

To add to the feel of the holiday, yell at the family. If they complain, you can respond with, ‘You just had half a hotdog an hour ago. Think of the other people for once!’ Then justify the lack of production, by having people think you are cooking with a crockpot, with sentences like, ‘It is time-cooking, takes time.’

To make it a fuller Israeli experience, talk with as much of a lisp as possible. You should also remember to pronounce every silent letter that is not supposed to be there, such as the ‘e’s in ‘people.’

Remember, holidays are about memories, not enjoyment.

Do Not Eat Falafel

No real Israeli eats falafel on Yom HaAtzmaut. We are celebrating freedom on this day. We are not celebrating the fact that we are located in the Middle East. We are trying to forget that today.

I understand that your diaspora community serves falafel on this day, but we Israelis celebrate Israel. We are not celebrating overuse of oil today. We do that on Chanukah.

Purchase Chicken Dogs

I don’t get it. But that seems to be what people do in Israel. The fact that they look like beef dogs before they are cooked, adds something to the holiday. Again, I do not understand how people are satisfied with this lack of enjoyment.

Wave at the Fire

The number one Israeli tradition on Yom HaAtzmaut is to Nifnoof. Nifnoofing is the way to keep an Israeli mangal going. Nifnoofing is a process of waving your arm and a cardboard box you found near the trash at the playground, in hopes that your fire will not stop, by greeting it.

Skip Work

No Israeli goes to work on Yom HaAtzmaut… or Wednesdays. Not working is a tradition in the Holy Land, as we have belief in God.

Go to the Park & Occupy It

Don’t just do the BBQ. Go to a crowded park and share in what the world calls the occupation.

Bring chairs. A lot of families like to bring couches and tables, so that the other people know that they are moving there. You might want to put together a moving team to help with your refrigerator.

It is almost impossible to find a place in the parks on Yom HaAtzmaut. After searching for 5 hours you will find many dads protesting, ‘We have found a spot, we are not leaving…I can care less if you are tired.’ To show solidarity, you can pull out a bed and box-spring.

Israeli Dancing

What has been called Israeli Dancing for the past 60 years is known by three people in Israel.

Many people think circle dancing is Israeli. That is not true. Israeli Dancing is a side to side hop jump. It is used by all people of Israel. Be it at rallies, protests, parades, weddings, bar mitzvahs, or Torah dedication parties, it is the side to side jump step. You can start your own Israeli Dancing line, by hopping from side to side, twice on each foot.

You can do this at the park as well – we Israelis are not ashamed of anything.

Bring a Portable Speaker to the Park

This will allow you to connect with the Israeli tradition of playing the music you like extremely loudly.

Play Football on a Basketball Court

You will see this at the park. I am still trying to figure out why every basketball court in Israel has football goals.

Sit in Traffic

You can connect with the day of no work in the country, the inter-city travel of every citizen and the parades, by finding the longest traffic light in your city at rush-hour.

Go a step further by stopping your car and causing traffic yourself. This will cause other people to beep, making you feel like you are in Israel proper.

Wave Israeli flags

Flag waving is a huge part of the holiday in Israel.

If you live outside of Israel, buy an Israeli flag for your car and hang it out of your window. You will know you are celebrating correctly if you get beeped at. If people stop yelling at you in disgust, check to make sure your flag is still there.

For A Relaxing Yom HaAtzmaut- Leave your Kids at Home

I have seen way too many soccer balls land in BBQs for any parent to enjoy their holiday. I have never seen a parent smile while serving their child a $22 steak.

If you make a mistake and bring your children along to the park, distance yourself from them. However, be responsible and keep them within eyeshot. You might want to bring something with a scope on it, to show you are a responsible parent.

If you follow through with these suggestions, you will have a very Israeli Yom HaAtzmaut

Click here to watch’s new Yom HaAtzmaut video: