During the months of January through March each year, blankets of red flowers called anemones, or kalaniyot in Hebrew, cover Israel's otherwise parched Negev Desert. Every year since 2005, Israelis from all over the country flock to the desert to celebrate the breathtaking site. For five or six weekends, many visitors think about relevant Biblical verses, such as: "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." (Song of Songs 2:12)
The Negev, which extends over Israel's southern region, accounts for more than one-half of Israel's land area. Due to its desert character, however, this region is sparsely populated.
The annual occurrence has been deemed the "Red South Anemone Festival."
This spectacular sight is reminiscent of the tulip fields of Holland, reports TimeOut, with the red anemones stretching as far as eyes can see and growing just an hour away from bustling cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Named "Darom Adom," or "Red South," this four- or five-week-long festival celebrates the beauty and agriculture of the anemones and the changing Israeli seasons, as well as its 10th year of the colorful festival.
Each weekend is event-filled and family oriented, and running wild through the endless flowers is strongly encouraged, cites TimeOut.
Events include South Red Live on Thursdays, featuring live performances from Israeli musical stars, such as Ehud Banai, Idan Raichel, Dana Berger and Red Band. In addition, events focus on agricultural and outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking trails, agricultural tours, ATV riding, nature painting workshops for children. Food and wine tastings, as well as restaurant experiences that are native to local Kibbutzim, generally are offered.
Each year, the Darom Adom Festival follows the rainy season, reports the Tourist Israel, when the ordinarily green landscape of the northern Negev is covered with a magnificent carpet of scarlet red anemones. To celebrate this spectacle of Israel's national flower being in full bloom, as well as Israel's agricultural achievements more generally, is the annual Darom Adom Festival.
For five weekends, the festival takes place in the Eshkol Region. During the mid-week, Tourist Israel reports visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery while the region is more quiet and serene.
The Negev Desert hosted much history over time, and has become one of Israel's popular tourism sites. For example, Abraham built his home in Be'er Sheva, and the Nabateans passed through there on caravans of camels laden with precious trade goods. Various peoples have lived in the Negev since the dawn of history: nomads, Canaanites, Philistines, Edomites, Byzantines, Nabateans, Ottomans and Israelis. Their economy was based mainly on sheep herding and agriculture, and later also on trade.