Jewish Holidays 2021 – 2022 | Dates, History, Gifts and More!

While most of the world goes by the Gregorian calendar, Jewish holidays and time are measured in an entirely different way. The Hebrew calendar (also known as the Jewish calendar) is a lunar calendar that dates back thousands of years; many of the months and occasions that comprise the calendar can be found in the Torah. 

According to the Jewish calendar, each day starts at sundown and ends at the next sunset. With more than a dozen celebrations, observances, and commemorations throughout each Jewish year, it can be hard to keep track of every single one. We have compiled every upcoming Jewish observance and listed its Hebrew and Gregorian dates, as well as links to additional resources to help guide you through 5782 so that you and your loved ones can have a meaningful Jewish year. 

Please note these dates are only applicable for Jewish communities who live outside of the Land of Israel.

Rosh Hashanah

The Jewish New Year

Begins at sundown on Monday, September 6, 2021 Ends at sundown on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 Hebrew Date: 1-2 Tishrei 5782

Rosh Hashanah is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of humanity. Special prayer services are held at synagogues, and many gather with loved ones for festive dinners featuring traditional foods such as apples and honey, round challah, pomegranates, and fish. 

Traditional Greetings: Shana tova – Happy New Year; Shana tova um’tukah – Have a good and sweet New Year; shana tova tikateivu v’teichateimu – Happy New Year! May you be inscribed and sealed [in the Book of Life]; Tizku l’shanim rabot – May you merit many years. 

Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement

Begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 15
Ends at sundown on Thursday, September 16, 2021
Hebrew Date: 10 Tishrei 5782

Yom Kippur is considered by many to be the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is also one of the few times per year that the Jewish people fast for an entire day. There are evening services (Kol Nidrei) followed by services the next day that last for hours, where special prayers about atonement, repentance, and forgiveness are said. Once Yom Kippur ends, many families and communities host festive meals to break the 25-hour fast. 

Traditional Greetings: G’mar chatima tova – [Have a] good final sealing [in the Book of Life]; Tzom kal – Have an easy fast. In English, it is also common to say, “Have a meaningful fast.” 

Sukkot

The Feast of the Tabernacles

Begins at sundown on Monday, September 20, 2021
Ends at sundown on Monday, September 27, 2021
Hebrew Date: 15-21 Tishrei 5782

Sukkot is an eight-day festival that historically marked the end of the harvest in ancient Israel. Today, its significance is also understood as a commemorates the Exodus and God’s protection of the Jewish people. The sukkah, the temporary structure that Jewish people build to eat, sleep, and lounge in throughout the festival, is meant to symbolize the tabernacle (mishkan) that the Israelites dwelled in during their journey to Eretz Yisrael. During Sukkot, it is also traditional to shake the lulav and etrog. 

Traditional Greetings: Chag sameach!– Happy holiday! or Chag Sukkot Sameach – Happy Sukkot!

Shemini Atzeret
& Simchat Torah

Begins at sundown on Monday, September 27, 2021
Ends at sundown on Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Hebrew Date: 22-23 Tishrei 5782

Shemini Atzeret directly follows the end of Sukkot. After weeks and weeks of celebrations, atonement, reflection, and observance, Shemini Atzeret was instituted by the rabbis as an extra day of holiness and kavanah (intentionality). It is also the first day that the Jewish people begin praying for rain.

The following day, Simchat Torah, is when the cycle of reading the Torah begins back at Bereshit. This is one of the happiest days of the Jewish year and is often marked with celebrations at synagogues where congregants dance, sing, and rejoice in the gift that is the Torah. 

Traditional Greeting: Chag sameach! – Happy holiday! 

Hanukkah

Begins at sundown on Sunday, November 28, 2021
Ends at sundown on Monday, December 6, 2021 
Hebrew Date: 25 Kislev – 2 Tevet 5782

Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) is an eight-day festival that commemorates the Maccabean revolt and the rededication of the Second Temple. It is the only religious Jewish holiday that does not appear in the Torah. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting one candle for each night of the holiday. Fried foods, such as jelly donuts and latkes, are also enjoyed throughout the festival. 

Traditional Greetings: Chag sameach! – Happy holiday!; Chag Chanuka sameach! – Happy Hanukkah! 

Tu BiShvat

The New Year of the Trees

Begins at sundown on Sunday, January 16, 2022 
Ends at sundown on Monday, January 17, 2022
Hebrew Date: 15 Shevat 5782

Tu BiShvat originates in the Mishnah and was an agricultural holiday in the biblical Land of Israel. Many communities celebrate by honoring the Earth, planting trees, and holding a special Seder where the Seven Species of Israel (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, dates) are commonly eaten, as well as other fruits and nuts. In Israel, Tu BiShvat is a day for planting trees and celebrating nature.

Purim

A festive night of costumes and joy

Begins at sundown on Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Ends at sundown on Thursday, March 17, 2022
Hebrew date: 14 Adar 5782

Purim celebrates the survival of the Jewish people, despite Haman, an ancient Persian king, trying to kill the Jews in his kingdom. His efforts were thwarted by Mordechai and Esther. On the evening that Purim begins, the story is read aloud at synagogue, known as Megillat Esther. Many people (of all ages) will wear a costume to the service, which is followed by a festive party. Children often celebrate the next day with Purim carnivals. Hamantaschen is traditionally eaten. 

Traditional Greeting: Chag Purim sameach – Happy Purim! 

Passover

The festival of matzah and freedom

Begins at sundown on Friday, April 15, 2022
Ends at sundown on Saturday, April 23, 2022
Hebrew Date: 15-22 Nisan 5782

Passover is an eight-day festival that commemorates the Israelites’ journey out of slavery in Egypt and into the Land of Israel. Throughout all eight days of Passover, it is forbidden to eat wheat, barley, oats, rye, or spelt. On the first two nights, family and friends traditionally gather for the Seder in which the Exodus story is recounted through several rituals, followed by an extravagant meal. 

Traditional Greetings: Chag Pesach sameach – Happy Passover; Chag kasher v’sameach – Have a kosher [free from wheat] and happy holiday 

Yom Hazikaron

Israel’s Remebrance Day

Begins at sundown on Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Ends at sundown on Thursday, May 19, 2022 
Hebrew Date: 4 Iyar 5782

Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. In Israel, there are dozens of ceremonies that honor the more than 23,000 people that lost their lives protecting and defending the State of Israel, as well as those who died in terror attacks. A siren is sounded across the entire country for one minute at 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., in which everyone stands still to honor and remember those lives. 

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Israel’s Independence Day

Begins at sundown on Thursday, May 19, 2022
Ends at sundown on Friday, May 20, 2022
Hebrew date: 5 Iyar 5782

Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrates the day that David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence in 1948. Israelis celebrate at parties, ceremonies, barbecues, dances, and more. 

Traditional Greeting: Yom Ha’atzmaut sameach – Happy Independence Day!

Lag B’Omer

Begins at sundown on Wednesday May 19, 2022
Ends at sundown on Thursday, May 20, 2022
Hebrew date: 18 Iyar 5782

Lag B’Omer occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer. The holiday has Kabbalistic roots and is believed by some to be the day that the Jewish people discovered the wisdom of the Zohar. Many communities celebrate by having a bonfire and singing. In traditional communities, Lag B’Omer is also a day for haircuts. 

Traditional Greeting: Chag sameach – Happy holiday!  

Shavuot

The day we received the Torah

Begins at sundown on Saturday, June 4, 2022
Ends at sundown on Monday, June 6, 2022
Hebrew date: 6-7 Sivan 5782

Shavuot is believed to be the day that the Jewish people received the Torah from God at Mount Sinai. Many communities celebrate by staying up all night and studying Jewish texts and subjects while eating dairy foods like cheesecake, blintzes, pizza, and more at a Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Special services are also held in synagogue on Shavuot. 

Traditional Greeting: Chag sameach – Happy holiday!

Tisha B’Av

The saddest day of the Jewish calendar

Begins at sundown on Saturday August 6, 2022
Ends at sundown on Sunday, August 7, 2022
Hebrew date: 9 Av 5782

Tisha B’Av is the day that the Jewish people commemorate the destruction of the Temple, as well as many other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. Traditional communities fast for an entire day on Tisha B’Av and pray to rebuild Jerusalem.

Tu B’Av

Jewish Valentine’s Day

Begins at sundown on Thursday, August 11, 2022
Ends at sundown on Friday, August 12, 2022
Hebrew date: 15 Av 5782

Tu B’Av has been celebrated since the days of the Temple and marked the beginning of the grape harvest. Tu B’Av was also a day when single Jewish women would dress in white and dance in the vineyards, hoping to find a husband. In modern day Israel, Tu B’Av is a popular day for proposals, weddings, and dates. 

Major Jewish Holidays 2021 – 2026

years 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
Purim Feb. 25 - 26 March 16 - 17 March 6 - 7 March 23 - 24 March 13 - 14 March 3 - 4
Passover March 27 - April 4 April 15 - 22 April 5 - 13 April 22 - 30 April 12 - 20 April 1 - 9
Shavuot May 16 - 18 June 4 - 7 May 25 - 27 June 11 - 13 June 1 - 3 June 21 - 23
Rosh Hashanah Sept. 6 - 8 Sept. 25 - 27 Sept. 15 - 17 Oct. 2 - 4 Sept. 22 - 24 Sept. 11 - 13
Yom Kippur Sept. 15 - 16 Oct. 4 - 5 Sept. 24 - 25 Oct. 11 - 12 Oct. 1 - 2 Sept. 20 - 21
Sukkot (First Days) Sept. 20 - 22 Oct. 9 - 11 Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 Oct. 16 - 18 Oct. 6 - 8 Sept. 25 - 27
Simchat Torah Sept. 27 - 29 Oct. 16 - 18 Oct. 6 - 8 Oct. 23 - 25 Oct. 13 - 15 Oct. 2 - 4
Chanukah Nov. 28 - Dec. 6 Dec. 18 - 26 Dec. 7 - 15 Dec. 25 - Jan. 2 Dec. 14 - 22 Dec. 4 - 12

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