How Do You Celebrate Sukkot?

How Do You Celebrate Sukkot?

Jews and some Christians celebrate Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, by building temporary outdoor shelters or huts in which families eat their meals throughout the eight-day holiday. Many sleep in the huts as well. Celebrators observe Sukkot in the fall, from the 15th to the 22nd of the Jewish month of Tishri, which occurs sometime between late September and late October on the Gregorian calendar.

Decorating the hut, performing special wave ceremonies of the Four Species, which are the four plants mentioned in the Torah, and circling the synagogue in a processional while singing hymns and reciting various Hebrew blessings are common features of the celebration.

Israelites observe Sukkot for eight days, while Jews living outside Israel celebrate for nine days. During the first and last days of Sukkot, no normal work is permitted. Other days of Sukkot are designated half-holidays in which Jews may work.

The Hebrew word “sukkot” means booths or tabernacles, which are walled structures covered with plant material, such as palm leaves. The temporary shelters commemorate the fragile dwellings in which the Israelites lived during their 40 years traveling in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.

Jews rejoice during Sukkot for the blessing of God's provision and care for their lives, and they consider charitable giving to be especially important during this time.