Jewish Calendar & Holy Days

Jewish Calendar & Holy Days

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Note: All Jewish holidays begin at sundown the evening before the date shown below.

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Rosh Hashana

Sep 21-22

Sep 10-11

Yom Kippur

Sep 30

Sep 19


Oct 5-11

Sep 24-30

Shemini Atzeret     

Oct 12

Oct 1

Simchat Torah

Oct 13

Oct 2


Dec 13-20

Dec 3-10

Tu B'Shvat

Jan 31, 2018

Jan 21, 2019


Mar 1

Mar 21


Mar 31-Apr 7

Apr 20-27

Yom Hashoah

Apr 12

May 2

Yom Hazikaron

Apr 18

May 8

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Apr 19

May 9

Lag B'Omer

May 3

May 23

Yom Yerushalayim May 13

Jun 2


May 20-21

Jun 9-10

Tisha B'Av

Jul 22

Aug 11

Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year)

This is a two-day festival celebrated by prayers at synagogue and by shared family meals. It is customary to eat apple dipped in honey. Both days of this festival are holy days of rest, on which various works are forbidden.


Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

This is an evening and day of fasting spent in prayer at synagogue. This festival is considered a holy day of rest on which various works are forbidden.


Succot (Tabernacles)

This is a nine-day festival celebrating the travels of the Jewish nation in the desert en-route to Israel. During the first eight days of this festival meals are eaten in outdoor huts with covers made of tree branches called ‘Sukkahs’. It is also celebrated by shaking the ‘Four Kinds’ of plants. The last day of this festival is called Simchat Torah, when reading of the Torah Scroll is celebrated. The first and last two days of this festival are holy days of rest, when prayer services are held and various works are forbidden.


Chanukah (Festival of Lights)

Chanukah is an eight-day festival commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem many centuries ago. It is celebrated by lighting eight-pronged candelabra on each night of the festival. It is also customary to eat oily foods such as doughnuts and latkes (potato pancakes) and to play games of Dreidel. Charity is also distributed during the festival.


Tu B’Shvat (New Year for Trees)

Tu B'Shvat is intimately connected to the agricultural cycle of the Land of Israel. Today, this holiday is often celebrated by planting saplings and by participating in a seder-meal that echoes the Passover seder, in which the produce of trees, fruits and nuts are eaten.



Purim is a joyous festival commemorating an event in which the Jewish nation overcame the threat of annihilation. It is celebrated in four ways: reading the Scroll of Esther; giving out gifts of food; giving charity and a festive Purim meal. This day is also celebrated by dressing up and in general festivities.


Pesach (Passover)

Pesach is an eight-day festival celebrating the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt over three thousand years ago - ‘from slavery to freedom’. Traditional to Pesach is the Seder meal, usually held in a family setting incorporating many symbolic procedures emulating the Exodus. One of the major Pesach laws is not to eat any leaven or leaven products, including bread, and to eat Matzah for the duration of the festival. The first and last two days of this festival are holy days of rest in which prayer services are held and various works are forbidden.


Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)

This day comemmorates the Holocaust and the six million Jews who perished. We remember six million Jews that suffered, fought, and died. This is a serious day and is commemorated by ceremonies, lighting candles (six candles lit by survivors) and recitation of special prayers.


Yom Ha'atzmaut (Day of Independence - establishment of the State of Israel)

This day is the national independence day of Israel. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the Jewish month of Iyar, and centres around the deceleration of the state of Israel by David Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar, 5708), and the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. It is observed through joyous festive activities and serving Israeli style foods. It is also common to decorate public and private spaces with Israeli flags and the like.


Lag B'Omer (The 33rd day of the Omer)

This is the day that the mourning practices of the Omer are suspended. This could be celebrated by outings and nature walks.


Shavuot (Pentecost)

Shavuot is a 2-day festival celebrated 7 weeks after the 2nd day of Pesach, commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments to the Jewish Nation on Mount Sinai. During this festival, dairy meals are eaten and greenery is placed around the house and at synagogue. Families go to a synagogue to hear a reading of the Ten Commandments. Both days of this festival are holy days of rest, when prayer services are held and various works are forbidden.

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