close
close

When is it? And how is it celebrated?

play

Passover is coming, which is why the Jewish holiday is at the top of our agenda.

You may wonder why and how the holiday of Passover, the most celebrated holiday in the Jewish faith, is celebrated.

Called Passover in Hebrew, the celebration of the holiday lasts a week, and it has close ties to the Biblical character of Moses, who was believed to be responsible for eventually leading the Jewish people out of captivity in Egypt. The holiday carries a message of freedom and liberation.

But there is much more to the story.

When is Passover this year?

Passover 2024 begins at sunset on April 22 and ends after nightfall on April 30 in the United States. The first Passover Seder will take place on April 22 after nightfall, and the second Seder will take place on April 23 after nightfall.

Is Passover late in 2024?

Last year, Passover began at sunset on April 5 and ended at sunset on April 13. Why such a big difference? The date for Passover is based on the Hebrew lunar calendar. It always falls on the 15th day of the month of Nissan, the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

What is Passover?

Passover is a holiday in the Jewish faith that celebrates the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. According to Chabad.org, the Jews were slaves of the Egyptian pharaohs for decades until Moses led them out of captivity.

The Old Testament of the Bible states that it was God who sent Moses to Israel to lead the Hebrews out of captivity.

In the Bible, Moses visited Pharaoh several times while the Jews were in captivity, and said to him, “Let my people go.” Moses warned Pharaoh that Egypt would feel God’s wrath if he ignored the warnings. But Pharaoh ignored them anyway.

Passover questions answered: What you need to know about the Jewish holiday

The Bible states that as a result, God unleashed ten plagues on Egypt and its people. The pests include:

  • Blood: Bodies of water in Egypt turned to blood.
  • Frogs: Frogs rained from the sky.
  • Lice: A lice plague.
  • Wild beasts: Evil creatures that can harm people and animals.
  • Cattle disease: Disease across the country’s meat source
  • Cooks: A disease.
  • Hail: Ice from the sky.
  • Grasshoppers: A plague of insects.
  • Darkness
  • The killing of the firstborn sons of Egypt: The Bible explains that God, after ignoring all of Moses’ warnings, killed all the firstborn sons of all the Egyptian families in the land.
  • Chabad.org explained that while God killed all the Egyptian firstborn sons, God spared all the Jews and “passed over” their homes. This is how the holiday got its name.

How is Passover traditionally celebrated?

Jews around the world typically celebrate Passover by holding a Seder each evening of the holiday. A Seder is a meal that recognizes many aspects of the Jewish time in slavery and exodus from Egypt.

A traditional Seder plate includes:

  • Matzoh: A large, flat cracker representing the “unleavened” bread that the Hebrews had to eat because they did not have time to let the bread rise when they escaped Egypt.
  • lamb chops: Represents the lamb sacrificed before the Exodus from Egypt “and annually on the noon before Passover in the Holy Temple” in Jerusalem, according to Chabad.org.
  • Hard boiled egg: This represents “the pre-holiday sacrifice that was made in the days of the Holy Temple,” says Chabad.org.
  • Bitter herbs: These are on the Seder plate to signify the bitter tears the Hebrews cried while enslaved. Typically, horseradish is used as the “bitter spice” on the traditional Seder plate.
  • Charoset: A paste-like mix of apples, pears, nuts and wine found on the Seder plate, representing the mortar and brick the Hebrews used during slavery.
  • Parsley: This herb is said to symbolize the hard toil the Hebrews had to endure under Pharaoh. It is usually dipped in salt water and then eaten. The salt water is said to represent the tears the Hebrews cried during slavery.

What is one of the most famous historical Passover Seders?

According to the New Testament, Jesus’ last supper was a Passover Seder. Jesus was a Jew when he was crucified. After the crucifixion, the Christian religion eventually became more widespread.