Miracles of Rain, 600 Meters Above the Sea of Galilee, part 4 by Malik Kirat
First, we will celebrate the New Year for Trees (Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot), commonly known in Hebrew as Tu b’Shevat, celebrated according to the lunar Hebrew calendar on the 15th day of the month Shevat. It is a Jewish Holiday, deeply rooted in Biblical tradition related to the agricultural cycle and calculating the age of the fruit crops. Tu b’Shevat celebration is much loved and cherished in our times. It brings plenty of Israelis outdoors planting trees in public places, nature, and their own gardens.
Almond trees blooming is very much associated with this Holiday. It is a tremendous scene, impossible to miss. The whole wintry landscape will undergo a change. Wild almond trees usually bloom first. They will slowly turn into the balls of bright white and pinkish color on the background of the hills and valleys, newly dressed in green. Then the domestic almonds will bloom in the orchards. Its sweet and refreshing fragrance will float in the warm air. Soon the soil around the trees will be covered in snow-like flakes of white flower petals.
Almonds and olives are dominating agricultural products in Northern Israel. In about one month since blossom, smallish green almond nuts will appear on the branches promising a good harvest. Young nuts are treasured for their many health benefits and are also yet untouched by pests. In the autumn we will be able to buy dried almond from the year’s crops.