The International Ladino Festival, a celebration that connects the history of the city to the present and the future, includes three days of performances, street musicians, free tours, and authentic culinary performances.
Shavouth/Shavous is one of Judaism's most important holidays. It is one of the three pilgrimage holidays (the others are Succot and Passover) for which Jews once traveled to Jerusalem and the Temple to bring offerings. Historically, Shavouth commemorates the day when God gave the Torah to the Children of Israel at Mt. Sinai and religiously marks the end of the Counting of the Omer. One of the most widely-observed customs of Shavouth involves staying up throughout the night to study Torah. This tradition was instituted by the ARI, Rabbi Isaac Luria, when he lived in Tzfat in the 16th century. There are additionally a wide range of English classes on Shavouth night throughout Tzfat neighborhoods. Local accommodations are available throughout the city, including the Old Jewish Quarter, the Artist Quarter, and the newer Tzfat neighborhoods. Image attribution: Heritage conservation picture Project - Safed Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons
Lag BaOmer is a minor holiday that occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot. A break from the semi-mourning of the Omer, key aspects of Lag B’Omer include holding Jewish weddings (it’s the one day during the Omer when Jewish law permits them), lighting bonfires, and getting haircuts. When the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, came to Tzfat in 1570, he instituted several new customs linking Jewish mysticism with conventional Jewish rituals. Among them included a Lag BaOmer pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Tsfat, located a 4-hour walk from the tomb of the "Rashbi," was the logical point from which pilgrims would set off on their pilgrimage. Since the 16th century, Tsfat and Lag BaOmer have been intertwined. Today, under Knesset law, formal celebrations for Lag BaOmer begin with the Torah procession that begins in Tzfat's Kikar Abu erev (the day before) Lag BaOmer. Bonfires are lit throughout the city to commemorate the soldiers of Bar Kochba who fought against the Romans in the 2nd century C.E. The central bonfire is on Mt. Meron. However, throughout Tsfat neighborhoods gather to light their own bonfires. Some of the largest and most active bonfires occur in the Hassidic neighborhoods of Kiryat Chabad (Canaan northern neighborhood), Meor Chaim (Darom-Southern neighborhood), and Kiryat Breslev (just below the Old Jewish Quarter on HaAri Street).
Klezmer Festival in Safed is held throughout the alleyways and lanes of the Old Jewish Quarter and Artist Quarter. On each of the 3 nights of the festival, performances begin approximately 9:00p.m. and go through until after midnight. The performances are free and are all located within a 5 - 15 minute walk of each other in the town's center.