Anniversaries & holidays

Chag Shavuot Sameach!

Fragment malowidła z synagogi z Gwoźdźca - dwa gryfy trzymają tablicę z dziesięciorgiem przykazań.
fot. M. Jaźwiecki / Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

Shavuot – (Hebrew: "Weeks") – one of the pilgrimage festivals celebrated on the 6th day (also on the following day) of the month of Sivan, 7 weeks after Pesach, in Poland referred to as the Feast of Weeks.

In the past, it was of an agricultural nature – in Palestine, it fell at the end of harvesting barley and the beginning of harvesting wheat, that is why two loaves of bread from new crops were offered. Apart from that, in the Talmudic period, the anniversary of giving the Torah to Jews on Mount Sinai began to be commemorated. Nowadays, it is also the most important aspect of the holiday, that is why a celebration of reading the Decalogue is the most important part of the prayers in synagogues; the Book of Ruth is also read. Synagogues are decorated with flowers and small branches, houses - with special paper cuts.

Renata Piątkowska, Quoted after: Tomaszewski J., Żbikowski A., "Żydzi w Polsce. Dzieje i kultura. Leksykon" [Jews in Poland – Their History and Culture. A Lexicon], Warsaw 2001.

In 2023, Shavuot begins at sunset on 25 May, and ends at dusk on 27 May (the holiday lasts for two days in the diaspora, but just one day in Israel).