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Chanukah, also known as “dedication” in the English language, is the celebration of the Maccabees' (Jews') victory over the armies of an invading Syria in 165 B.C.E which led to the liberation of the Temple in Jerusalem. Chanukah always begins on the 25th day of the month Kislev in the Jewish calendar which in the modern day calendar occurs between late November and late December.

Celebration and religious practicing occur at sunset on each of the eight days, when a menorah is lit and a prayer recited. Additionally, foods are cooked in oil, representing the holy oil in the Temple. Jewish delicacies such as potato pancakes (latkes) and donuts (sufganiyot) are consumed during this time.


The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. In the modern day calendar, this occurs in mid to late April. Passover is celebrated for the commemoration of the Jews' liberation by God from slavery back in Ancient Egypt. They were also given their freedom as a nation with Moses the leader.

During the eight-days, matzoh (bread without yeast) is eaten. Back in the day, Jews traveling through the desert ate matzoh as they did not have yeast to bake from. For this reason, for all of those eight days, Jews practicing Passover do not eat any food with yeast as an ingredient. There is also a seder held on the first two nights with items symbolic to the Jews during that time period.

What goes on a seder plate?

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebrated on the first of Tishrei, the first month of the Jewish calendar. In the modern day calendar, Rosh Hashanah takes place anywhere between early September to early October. Translated literally, Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year.”

Some traditions that are associated with Rosh Hashanah are blowing the shofar, made from hollowing out a ram’s horn, and eating sweets such as apples with honey to symbolize a “sweet new year.”

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur falls on the 10th day of Tishrei, nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement and, to many, is considered the holiest holiday in the Jewish faith. Yom Kippur is a time to repent your sins from the previous year and a time to look ahead to the upcoming year. Typically, practicing Jews will attend Temple and will fast for 25 hours, sunset the evening before Yom Kippur to the nightfall of Yom Kippur. Unlike other types of fasting, on Yom Kippur, Jews avoid food and all beverages, including water.


Sukkot is celebrated on the 15th day of Tishreir, which is anywhere from late September to late October in the modern-day calendar. Sukkot is an agricultural festival and was also thought of as a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest.

Sukkot lasts roughly seven days and is celebrated by building a homemade Sukkah that is made from any type of material; however, the roof must be of material from nature, such as leaves, branches or palm fronds. On each day of Sukkot, the Four Species are waved, which are the four plants mentioned in the Torah: etrog, lulav, hadass and aravah.

Thu, July 25 2024 19 Tammuz 5784