About festival

The International Folklore Festival of Maataf, Israel



The International Folklore Festival in Israel has been continuously held by MAATAF since 1985. Each year 6-8 folkloric ethnic dance ensembles among the best known and most appreciated in the world are being invited to Israel to a feast of dance, sound and color. Their appearances take place all over Israel, usually in venues open to public free of charge.


The Festival is organized in co-operation with the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport. As well as the Municipalities and Councils within whose boundaries the festival is hosted.


The Festivals have won lots of goodwill and appreciation in the world at large and many ensembles from all over are trying to take an active part in it. During its years of existence the festival has welcomed more than 200 ensembles from most of the globe's nations. see


Maataf fellowship also maintains relations with similar festivals in other countries and it recommends and sends Israeli groups to participate in them.



Duration of the Festival: approximately two weeks.


Date: First two weeks of July.


Venue: Several locations in Israel.


Description: A fortnight of frenzy of colors, music and ethnic-folkloric dances. The uniqueness of the festival is manifest in its being peripatetic. Every day the ensembles make appearances in a different city or town in Israel. From the point of view of the participating groups this presents a special attraction and a rare opportunity to know and feel the State of Israel, by wandering from cities to villages to kibbutzim to Jewish, Arabic, Bedouin or Druze settlements.


From the viewpoint of the hosting localities too it is a golden chance to welcome representatives coming from all directions, when they can sense the world is really a "global village", their streets resounding with music, dancers in motley costumes capering under their windows, stands selling ethnic products from hitherto unknown lands that is the true experience of the Festival.


Accommodation: The accommodation of participants is being cared for by Maataf. The ensembles are put up in youth villages or hostels in air-conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms. All ensembles stay in the same village and thus the "Festival community" is created. During the festival the ensembles set out on short trips to historic sites important for the 3 religions.


Ensembles who are interested in taking part in one of our yearly festivals should contact.