The Jewish calendar includes several different holidays that celebrate religious, political, and national elements. The dates of the holidays always stay the same on the Jewish calendar but vary according to the Gregorian calendar.
Some the most commonly celebrated Jewish holidays are as follows:
- Rosh Hashanah
The first holiday on the Jewish calendar is the 15th of Shevat. This day is celebrated as the new year for the trees because it is the time for trees in Israel to start a new cycle. This holiday usually takes place at the end of January. The holiday is celebrated by the eating of fruits like grapes, olives, dates, and figs.
Purim is a holiday that is celebrated to remember the way that the Jewish people were saved by Queen Esther from Haman's plot to kill off the Jewish nation. The day includes feasting, readings, and work is not allowed.
Passover is the holiday that celebrates God's deliverance of the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt. Passover is celebrated in the early spring. During Passover, Jews go through a Seder meal to commemorate the God's deliverance. During the Seder meal Jews retell the story found in Exodus while eating foods that symbolize part of the story.
The holiday of Shavuot is celebrated to remember the Torah being given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. During Shavuot, which is celebrated in May, Jews are not permitted to work. To celebrate candles are lit, and participants in the celebration stay up all night reading the Torah and the Ten Commandments.
Rosh Hashanah, is the celebration of creation. Specifically it is the celebration of when God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is considered to be the beginning of the Jewish year. During Rosh Hashanah Jews light candles, share meals, and spend time in prayer.
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is considered the day the Jewish people are closest to God. During the celebration Jews cannot eat certain foods, should not wash their bodies, wear shoes, and abstain from sex. Time is spent praying for forgiveness.