What it's all about
Yom Ha'atzmaut is Israeli Independence Day. It celebrates the anniversary of the creation of Israel, on May 14, 1948 (or, according to the Jewish calendar, the 5th of Iyyar in 5708). On that day, David Ben Gurion, who became Israel’s first Prime Minister, declared the establishment of the State of Israel and the end of the British Mandate. From then on, the 5th of Iyyar became a national holiday, celebrated both in Israel and by Jews and Zionists around the world.
In Israel, Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, and public concerts. Outside Israel, Jewish communities host parties and gatherings to celebrate Israel. Often, the focus of these events is on Israeli culture, everything from classic Israeli foods--hummus, falafel, schnitzel, and shawarma--to Israeli dance, Israeli music, and all things Hebrew. People wear blue and white, and wave Israeli flags.
Some communities have the custom of adding liturgy to the regular services on Yom Ha'atzmaut, to commemorate the miraculous nature of Israel's victory over its foes in the War of Independence.