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500,000 Crowd Tel Aviv Streets in Purim Carnival; 10,000 in Beersheba

March 25, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

All of Israel celebrated Purim today and, as usual, the most joyous celebration took place in this Israeli metropolis. Last night, the Weather Bureau had, at first, promised rain for today. However, by morning, the skies cleared, and heavy traffic from all over Israel crowded all roads leading to Tel Aviv.

Half a million persons crowded Tel Aviv’s streets. The most colorful part of the celebration was a special Youth Carnival in which costumed celebrants good-naturedly satirized every aspect of Israeli life, from ancient difficulties in Biblical times to the latest problems of large-scale development.

Many prominent guests sat in special stands reviewing the various parades and mingled with the crowds. Among the most prominent of foreign guests were Mrs, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the American film and stage star, Edward G. Robinson.

There were parades, fancy costumes galore, and a spirit of general exhilaration. Israeli cowboys–real and make-believe–led dancing in the streets, soldiers in uniform participated, and adults vied with children in general hilarity.

One of the country’s most impressive Purim celebration this year was held at Beersheba, the metropolis of the northern Negev. Beersheba combined its Purim celebration with the observance of the tenth anniversary of the liberation of that city, during the War of Independence. More than 10, 000 persons, including Bedouin tribesmen who had come to town from the desert, joined in the festivities.

Haifa’s celebration was given added zest when a Greek luxury liner, the SS Olympia, docked with 600 tourists, most of whom joined the local Purim festivities.

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