"We will never forget, we will never hide and we will never stop asking ourselves every morning what we must do to prevent what happened to ever repeat itself."
Six torches were lit at Vad Vashem – one for each of the one million Jews who lost their lives during the second world war.
Restaurants and places of entertainment around the nation were closed during the ceremonies.
On Thursday morning an air raid siren rang out across the country to commence two minutes of silence in rememberance.
This will also begin a day of activities including the public reading of names of Holocaust victims at sites in Israel, one of which is the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.