What Is Shavuot, How It Is Celebrated: Shavuot or Shovuos is also known as the Feast of Weeks in English and as Pentecost in Ancient Greek. The day is considered to be a Jewish holiday that falls on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan that means it may fall on May 15 to June 14.
What is Shavuot?
Shavuot is basically celebrated for two reasons such as it marks the all-important wheat harvest in Israel, as well as it also commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel gathered at Mount Sinai—even though the association is not clear in the Biblical text in the middle of the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot.
Shavuot is not so familiar Jewish holidays to secular Jews in the Jewish diaspora, while on the other hand for those in Israel and the Orthodox community are more aware of it. As per to the Jewish law, Shavuot is celebrated in Israel for one day as well as for two days in the Diaspora. Reform Judaism celebrates only one day, even in the Diaspora.
When is Shavuot Observed?
Shavuot begins in the 6th day of Sivan or on Sunday following the 6th day of Sivan in the Karaite tradition. The day ends on the 7th (in Israel: 6th) day of Sivan.
When is Shavuot this Year?
This year in 2019, Shavuot is going to begin at the Sunset on 8 June and will end at the Nightfall on 10 June.
What is the Significance of Shavuot?
Shavuot has double significance that is Agricultural (wheat harvest) and spiritual. The day is considered to be one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals. The day celebrates the disclosure of the Five Books of the Torah by God to Moses and to the Israelites at biblical Mount Sinai, 49 days (7 weeks) afterward the Exodus from Egypt. The day also honors the wheat harvesting in the Land of Israel. It also Marks the conclusion of the 49 days of the counting of the Omer.
As we have earlier said that Dairy products or foods are mainly consumed as per to different Jews traditional dishes such as:
- Cheesecake, cheese blintzes, and cheese kreplach among Ashkenazi Jews
- Cheese sambusak, kelsonnes (cheese ravioli), and atayef (a cheese-filled pancake) among Syrian Jews
- Kahee (a dough that is buttered and sugared) among Iraqi Jews
- A seven-layer cake called siete cielos (seven heavens) among Tunisian and Moroccan Jews are traditionally consumed on the Shavuot holiday.
- On the other hand, Yemenite Jews do not eat dairy foods on Shavuot.
The word Shavuot (or Shavuos) means “weeks.” The day celebrates and honors the accomplishment of the seven-week Omer counting period in the middle of Passover and Shavuot.
About more than 3,300 years ago, the Torah was given by G‑d to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai on Shavuot. Each year on the holiday of Shavuot they reintroduce their receiving of G‑d’s gift, as well as G‑d “re-gives” the Torah.
As from the name “Feast of Weeks,” you can guess that the day is celebrated with festive meals. On this day people all-night study Torah and also recite the Akdamut liturgical poem in Ashkenazic synagogues.
The Book of Ruth is also studied on this day. Dairy products are specifically consumed on this day celebration. Homes are beautifully decorated and synagogues with greenery (Orach Chayim, 494).