Shavuot is a Jewish festival celebrated 50 days after the first Passover also known as Sedar - the most celebrated Jewish festival. It is observed on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan which comes around May 15 and June 14 in the Gregorian calendar. This year, Shavuot will be observed from sunset on May 16 until nightfall on May 18. Shavuot combines two major religious observances. It's an amalgam of the harvest festival celebrated in ancient times and also the celebration of the day when God gave the Torah (The bible of the jews) ) to the nation of Israel some 3300 years ago.
Shavuot is observed following 50 days of the Jewish Passover - a celebration of the day when God redeemed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God gave the Torah - the first part out of the five parts of the Jewish bible - to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. The story goes like this: According to the Torah, following the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites travelled from Egypt to Mount Sinai in seven weeks. Shavuot means “sevens” or “weeks,” hence it is also called the Feast of Weeks.
Shavuot is also said to have its bearings in an ancient grain harvest festival where the first fruits of the harvest and two loaves of bread made from the new wheat were offered at the temple. This tradition is still followed at the synagogue and read the Torah.
Every year, jews commemorate the day by abstaining from work, lighting candles, staying up all night, having festive meals containing dairy foods and a visit to the synagogue ( Jewish church) to listen to the readings from the Torah. The Book of Ruth - one of five parts of the Jewish bible - that highlights the woman’s choice to join the Jewish people and accept the Torah is one of the books read on Shavuot. The customary way to greet each other during Shavuot is “Chag Sameach!”
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 14, 2021 08:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).