Jewish Festivals 2008

Tuesday 22 January:

Tu B'Shevat: The Jewish New Year for trees - For religious accounting purposes all trees have their anniversaries on this festival, regardless of when they were planted.

Sunday 27 January:

National Holocaust Memorial Day: The UK Holocaust Memorial Day was first held in January 2001. The date was chosen as the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Friday 21 March:

Purim: Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

Sunday 20 April:

Passover: The start of the season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.

Friday 2 May:

Yom Hashoah: The Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day. The date is chosen as the closest date (in the Jewish calendar) to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Monday 9 June:

Shavuot: Shavuot marks the time when the first harvest was taken to the Temple. Also known as the Festival of Weeks.

Sunday 20 July:

17th Tammuz: An important Jewish fast day.

Sunday 10 August:

Tisha B'Av: A solemn day that commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.

Tuesday 30 September:

Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year

Thursday 9 October:

Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement - the most solemn day of the Jewish year.

Tuesday 14 October:

Sukkot: Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions.

Tuesday 21 October:

Shemini Atzeret: Shemini Atzeret can be translated as "the assembly of the eighth (day)." In Israel the festival is combined with Simchat Torah. Simchat Torah: Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." This holiday marks the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings.

Monday 22 December:

Hanukkah: Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.

For information on the Jewish religion please visit > Judaism