Passover Is Sooner Than You Think!
Passover 2023, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar, begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 5 and lasts for seven days in Israel and eight in the diaspora.
We’re bringing you some fun Passover facts to help you get into the spirit of the holiday – and be sure to shop Judaica Webstore for all your Passover gifts and essentials!
1. Passover starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, which in 2023 will begin at sundown on Wednesday, April 5th.
2. The holiday of Passover originally lasted exactly a week or 7 days, and still does in the Land of Israel, but is observed outside Israel for 8 days.
Different names for Passover
Did you know that there are four different Hebrew names for Passover? They are:
“Pesach” means to pass over, and this name comes from God “passing over” the Jews’ homes during the plague that killed all the Egyptian firstborns – just like the English name “Passover”!
Literally, the Festival of Matzah.
Jewish tradition says that when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt, they were in such a hurry that they didn’t have enough time for their bread to rise. God then commanded the Jewish nation to refrain from regular leavened bread and eat matzah during the holiday of Passover.
This unsurprising name means the Spring Festival and refers to Passover occurring in the spring!
Translated as “the time of our freedom”, this name is in celebration of the Israelites’ hard-won freedoms and the end of their oppressive slavery.
Holiday of Fours
In addition to the above four different names for Passover, the number four is a recurrent theme during the holiday.
8 more Passover Facts
1. Passover starts with the Seder, a ceremonial dinner filled with rituals and storytelling that’s totally unique to Passover!
2. The entire order of service for the Seder is contained in a book called the haggadah.
4. There’s a custom to refrain from eating roasted meats on Seder night, as it would be reminiscent of the Passover lamb sacrifice which we are prohibited from partaking in in the absence of the Temple.
6. All things bread-like – including regular cakes, pastas, and biscuits – are prohibited.
7. In addition to not eating bread and similar leavened grain foods (called chametz), many Jews of Ashkenazi descent also refrain from eating kitniyot or legumes.
8. Due to the prohibition on eating or owning any chametz or leavened food products, many Jews thoroughly clean their homes and especially kitchens before Passover, and some even use different dishes and cookware for the duration of the holiday.