What Are Some Jewish Holidays?


Quick Answer

Some traditional Jewish holidays are Purim, Pesach (or Passover), Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. Some modern Jewish holidays include Yom Ha-Shoah, or Holocaust Day and Yom HaAtzmaut, or Israel's Independence Day. Yom Ha-Shoah and Yom HaAtzmaut are both celebrated during the spring, with dates falling between April and May.

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What Are Some Jewish Holidays?
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Full Answer

Purim, which falls in March, is celebrated in honor of the ancient Jews' escape from genocide in the Book of Esther. The holiday is marked by readings from the Book of Esther, wearing costumes and masks, donating to organizations and friends and getting drunk. It is also traditional to eat triangular pastries called "hamantashen."

Rosh Hashanah, which translates as "head of the year," is essentially the Jewish New Year. It typically falls in September or early October and is celebrated with round or gold-colored foods, including honey cakes, pomegranates, pumpkins and carrots. It is traditional to make amends and repair relationships during Rosh Hashanah.

The more contemporary festivals, such as Yom Ha-Shoah and Yom HaAtzmaut, are marked by a range of events at the community level, rather than established historical traditions. For Yom HaAtzmaut, activities might include local fairs and celebratory religious services, while some Jews light candles to mark the occasion of Yom Ha-Shoah.

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