The name of the festival is derived from its Hebrew date. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned numerical value (gematria). “Tu” stands for the letters Tet and Vav that add up to 15 (9 and 6 accordingly).
Tu Bishvat is one of the four new years in the Hebrew calendar. The remaining three are: the first of Nisan, the first of Elul, and the first of Tishrei. Each of these new years has its own symbolical meaning. Tu Bishvat is the new year for trees.
During the Middle Ages a special festive meal named Tu Bishvat seder was held. It included specific fruits of the Land of Israel each of which was assigned a symbolic meaning. This tradition has been revived lately. Though much less attention is paid to symbolism, people still try to celebrate the holiday by eating figs, dates, pomegranates and other fruits associated with the Land of Israel.
In modern Israel Tu Bishvat is regarded as an ecological awareness day and the Israeli Arbor Day. Traditionally, trees are planted on this day. This custom is supported by the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael).Remind me with Google Calendar
- Religious Holidays, Ecological Observances
- Tu Bishvat, New Year for Trees, ecological awareness day, Jewish holidays, religious holidays