When Is Passover? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

When is passover? Passover is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day that commemorates the historic escape of the Hebrews from their Egyptian slave masters. It starts on the 15th day of Nisan which is estimated to be the months of both March and April on the standard or Gregorian calendar.

The story of the historic freeing of the slaves is told in Exodus of the Bible. It speaks of the ten plagues that befell the Egyptians sent by YHWH (God). These were all endured by the Egyptians and led to the death of Pharaoh's first born son and all those born to the Egyptians. To avoid the death to the first born the Hebrews placed a mark on their doors so that the spirit of the Lord would ?passover? them without killing their male heirs. Once Pharoah released the slaves they were so happy to leave that they went on their journey without waiting for their bread to rise as it customarily should. Because of this during the celebration Unleavened Bread is consumed to commemorate the symbolic victory the slaves attained. This custom has also inspired the name ?The Festival of the Unleavened Bread?. Matza, as it is actually called, has become symbolic to Passover.

When is passover

Passover remains one of three festivals that led to the pilgrimage of people of Jewish ancestry to the temple in Jerusalem. The other two being Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles).

When is Passover celebrated?
The celebration of Passover is very prominent and is celebrated for seven days. The first and last days are conventional Jewish holidays. In more strict Jewish communities no work is done on this day. On the first day a seder is kept. A seder is a ritual feast that signals the start of Passover.

The celebration is still very much important in places outside of Israel, especially in orthodox and conservative groups where the holiday last eight days with the 2 days at the beginning and the two days at the end being major holidays. A seder is held two times during the celebrations on the first and second day. The days that are not held as major holidays do not restrict individuals to not working on those days. Reform Judaism observes Passover for seven days with the first day being reserved as a major holiday that is used to hold the seder.

The days that are not major holidays in the Passover celebrations are deemed Chol HaMoed or festival weekdays. These days are set aside for family activities like picnics which will include the traditional matzo with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Now you know the answer to your question, "When is passover?"