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When Are The Jewish Holidays?
Every year, the Jewish people of the world celebrate the same holidays that have been celebrated for centuries. These holidays are at the very heart of Jewish culture, as they are meant to commemorate important events in Jewish history and to provide time for reflection and celebration with family and friends.
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish New Year and usually falls between late September and early October. It is one of the most important holidays for Jews and traditionally begins with an evening service. During the holiday, many people gather in synagogue for a prayer service, a process called tashlich. This involves throwing little pieces of bread or other snacks into a nearby body of water as a symbolic gesture of leaving the sins of the previous year behind.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year. This fast day falls in the same month as Rosh Hashanah, and includes 25 hours of fasting and prayer. During this time, Jews reflect on their behavior of the past year and ask for forgiveness from those they may have wronged.
Sukkot is a week-long holiday that celebrates the harvest season. It is celebrated in the autumn by building temporary outdoor dwellings, called sukkahs, in which meals are eaten and prayers are said. Another holiday celebrated during this time is Simchat Torah, which marks the end of the annual reading of the Torah and celebrates its ongoing cycle of renewal.
In the winter, Jews celebrate Chanukah, often called the festival of lights. This eight-day holiday commemorates the Maccabean revolt against the Greek-Syrians in 167 B.C.E. During the holiday, Jewish families light a special Chanukah menorah, enjoy traditional latkes, and play dreidel games.
The last of the major Jewish holidays is Passover, which falls in the spring. Passover marks the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and celebrates the birth of the Jewish nation. On the first two nights, families gather around the table for a special festive meal, called a Seder. During this meal, Jews retell the story of the exodus and celebrate the freedom they now enjoy.
These traditional Jewish holidays are celebrated by millions of people around the world, and serve as an important reminder of the Jewish people’s history, traditions, and faith.