Judaism Holidays

There are many Jewish holidays throughout the year, most holidays, are a remembrance of a difficult and or triumphant time in Jewish history. The holidays fall on different days every year, because Judaism follows a lunar calendar.


One of the most well-known Jewish holidays is Passover. This holiday is based on the exodus from Egypt. During the ten plagues, God commanded the Jews place the blood of a lamb on the front door, so the angel of death would 'passover' the Jewish house, and only kill an Egyptian's first born child. God commanded the Jews to eat a feast on the first night of passover, and they have done so every year since.

Hanukkah or Chanukah

Known as the Festival of Lights, this holiday is an eight day holiday remembering the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. The Jews were able to defend themselves against the Seleucid Greeks. After the defense, the Jewish people needed to light the Temple, unfortunately they only had an oil supply that would last one day. By God's divine nature, the oil lasted 8 days.
Hanukkah recently became more popular for American Jews, as a way to take part in early Winter celebrations, such as Christmas. The holiday for Jewish people traditionally, only is suppose to be a candle lighting ceremony. No presents were required to be exchanged, until recently. For Jewish children not to be left out of the Christmas spirit of giving, American Jews would give presents to their children.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It celebrates the first day of the creation of Adam and Eve. Like typical New Years, the Jewish New Year is a time to look back on the past year, and make resolutions and dedications for the year ahead. Many Jewish people will attend synagogue on Rosh Hashanah.

Yom Kippur

Arguably the most important holiday in Judaism, Yom Kippur, the 'Day of Atonement'. Jewish people will fast and attend synagogue services. They will seek forgiveness for their sins, mourn over their sins, and beg for God's mercy. On Yom Kippur, Jewish people must treat the day like a traditional Sabbath day, no working.

Pentecost or Shavu'ot

Shavu'ot, or Pentecost, is the Festival of Weeks. In the Jewish calendar, the day takes place 49 days after Passover, and 50 days after Passover in the Gregorian calendar, hence the name 'Pentecost', which means 50th day in Ancient Greek. This day in Judaism, marks the moment when God gives the Torah from God. Most Jews will stay up all night, reading the Torah on this day.


The Feast of Tabernacles is a major Jewish Holiday, celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishri. During this holiday, the Jewish people would make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday will last seven days and is a reflection on the time when the Jews were wandering in the desert for 40 years under Moses. Some Jews will build a temporary shelter in their yards, eat, and sleep in it, to get an idea what their ancestors went through while traveling to their promised land of Israel.