Jerusalem Festivals 2021
If you are in the area, you should attend these Jerusalem Festivals to learn more about Jewish culture and tradition.
The Jews celebrate Passover as the day they were freed from slavery in Egypt. In the Hebrew Bible, it’s mentioned that Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. Jews believed God sent ten plagues to ancient Egypt to free enslaved people. The festival lasts eight days during the Hebrew month of Nisan. Jews cook a meal known as seder and tell the story of Exodus using holy books. Attend the special Birkat Hakohanim priestly blessing at the Western Wall if you are in Jerusalem during the festival.
Lag B’omer is another important Jerusalem Festival that marks the death anniversary of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai: a famous kabbalist, the sage, and his disciples. According to legend, his disciples died of a deadly plague after not treating each other well. The plague ceased on the 33rd of Lag B’omer. This day falls in the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. Weddings and other celebrations are prohibited in the Jewish Community during this festival. This minor holiday is celebrated in Jerusalem with customs such as lighting bonfires, getting haircuts, and more.
You must have heard “Hannukah” from Ross and Monica when they were Jews. Hannukah, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight-day December holiday just before Christmas. The rededication to the Temple of Jerusalem is commemorated. Hanukkah, or menorah, is an eight-candle holder in Jewish homes. Jews light one candle every night during the eight-day Hanukkah Miracle. Talmud says that the people who took part in the revolt against Greek oppressors to save the Temple had only enough night oil to last for one night. But it miraculously stayed for eight nights. Hanukkah is the result of this miracle.
Tu Bisvat occurs on the 15th of the Hebrew month Shevat. It is also known as the Jewish New Year. This Jerusalem festival gives priority to ecology and nature. As part of the celebration, people plant trees. In Hebrew, Tu is pronounced as ‘Tet and Av’ with 9, 6, and respectively numerical values. It is because the numbers add up to 15 that it is celebrated on the 15th of Shevat Month. As part of the customs, people eat fresh fruit and prepare a pilaf made with dates, figs, and raisins.
This Jerusalem Festival is a great time to celebrate because there are costumes and drinking. This festival celebrates the day Jews were saved from Haman’s oppression, as described in the Book of Esther. People exchange gifts and donate money and items to charity. On this day, people eat Se’udat Purim together as a celebration meal, and there is also a public reading of the Scroll of Esther.
Shavuot, or the “Feast of Weeks,” commemorates the day God gave the Torah and marked the vital wheat harvest in Israel. Shavuot marks a time of joy, and the Jewish people renew their acceptance of God’s blessings on this day. Shavuot is a time of joy and celebration. People eat dairy foods, including siete cientos. The people also stay up all night to learn the Torah and listen to the Ten Commandments.
Sukkot, also called Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, is a joyful week-long holiday after Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur at the end of September or the beginning of October. This day reminds Jews of the fragility of life during the 40-year Exodus. People eat food on temporary structures such as palm leaves. This festival teaches Jews to stay grounded and to realize that their permanent homes are only an illusion.