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JEWISH FESTIVAL

Among the Jewish festivals, the Sabbath (Saturday) occupies the pride of place. The Sabbath gives the labourer every week a day of rest and leisure. Passover or the feast of unleavened bread is one commemorating the birth of Israel as a nation and deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian slavery. It falls in April or May. Pentecost is another Jewish festival held in May-June. It has an agricultural and historical significance. The feast of Tabernacle is another pilgrim festival falling in either September or October. During this feast, Jews set up temporary booths covered with palm leaves and decorated with citrus and other fruit. The Jewish New Year falls in September or October. It is not a time for revelry, but a solemn season for self-assessment and judgement in the life of the Jew. The Day of Atonement following the New Year is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. Not a morsel of food or a drop of water will pass the lips of the observant Jews from sunset of the previous day till after the nightfall of the next day. The Jews will be in the synagogue devoting themselves to fervent prayers. The Hannukka or the festival of lights is another popular celebration of the Jews.

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