Passover celebrates the Exodus, the freedom from the slavery of the children of Israel from ancient Egypt. The story of Passover is that Pharaoh, feeling threatened by the success of the Israelites, enslaved them with cruel and bitter labor. Moses, joined by his older brother Aaron, went to Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Israelites. Pharaoh repeatedly said no–nine times – which is where the plagues come from. Each time he said no, another plague struck Egypt. In the year 1313 BCE (Before Common Era or BC), God sent the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all of their firstborn. At the same time, He “passed over” the homes of the Israelites whose doors were painted with lamb’s blood, sparing them, and hence, lending the name of the holiday.
When is Passover Celebrated?
Since the Hebrew calendar is 354 or 355 days, the holiday falls out on a different day each year.
2020: April 8th – April 16th
2021: March 27-April 4
2022: April 15-23
2023: April 5-13
2024: April 22-30
2025: April 12-20
When Is the Seder?
The Seder feast is held on the first two nights of Passover, after sunset. Here are the dates of the Seder for the upcoming years:
2020: The nights of April 8 and 9
2021: The nights of March 27 and 28
2022: The nights of April 15 and 16
2023: The nights of April 5 and 6
2024: The nights of April 22 and 23
2025: The nights of April 12 and 13
Type of Holiday?
How is The First Day of Passover Celebrated?
- According to Jewish tradition, when the Jewish people left Egypt, they left in such a hurry, that the bread they baked did not have time to rise. To commemorate this fact, Jewish people eat matzah, unleavened bread, over the course of the entire holiday. Anything with flour is not eaten during this holiday
- The highlight of Passover is the Seder, a once a year, family-oriented ceremony where the events of the day are re-told.
- The first two days of Passover (from sundown of the first date listed, until nightfall two days later) are full-fledged, no-work-allowed holiday days for observant Jews.
- The dates of Passover change from year to year because the Jewish calendar has a different number of days than our regular calendar. This is because the Jewish calendar is tied to the moon’s cycles instead of the sun’s.
- Like all Jewish holidays, Passover begins the evening before the date it appears on the calendar.
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