/Pesach – Passover (15th day of Nisan)

Pesach – Passover (15th day of Nisan)

Pesach or Passover is the Jewish Easter and one of the three so-called pilgrimage festivals, each of which recalls the Exodus through the desert after the Israelites were released from captivity in Egypt. Later, during the Temple Periods, Jews were required to try and go to the Temple in Jerusalem during each of the three pilgrimage festivals. The other two pilgrimage festivals are Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, and Sukkot, the Feast of the Booths.
Like many of the Jewish holidays, Pesach or Passover has more than one significance. Primarily, Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The name of the feast comes from the Hebrew word pasach, which means passing over or passing by. When the tenth scourge struck Egypt, it passed by Jewish homes.
The Passover holiday is also known for its unleavened bread. When the Israelites had to hurry out of Egypt, they did not have time to allow their bread dough to leaven or rise. In memory of this, a special unleavened Passover bread or matza is eaten on all eight days of Passover (Passover is one day shorter in Israel the same way as Sukkot). On the first evening of Pesach, Jewish families gather for the Passover Seder, or meal, during which the entire story of Passover is retold. The story is read from a book called Hagaddah.
The second significance of Passover relates to agriculture. Around the time of Passover, the spring barley was harvested and a seven-week period began; at the end of which the wheat harvest would be ready. This period is called Omer and the Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover.