Shavuot Date in the current year: June 12, 2016

Shavuot Shavuot is one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals (shalosh regalim) in Judaism. It is observed on the 6th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, seven weeks after the Passover.

Shavuot is also known as the Feast of Weeks. The word Shavuot is literally translated as “weeks”. Thus holiday commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people assembled at Mount Sinai.

In the era of the Holy Temple, people were required to bring the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem on this day. Torah gives no more explicit commandments (mitzvot) unique to this holiday. Nevertheless, a number of widespread customs observed on this day have appeared over time.

On Shavuot Jews gather in synagogues to listen to the public reading of the Torah portion that contains the Ten Commandments. The Book of Ruth is also read during the holiday of Shavuot. Dairy meals are traditional for this festival.

Observant Jews stay up all night studying Torah, this practice is called Tikkun Leil Shavuot. However, Spanish and Portuguese Jews do not observed this custom. In Reform Judaism, it became customary to perform confirmation ceremonies for students who are completing their religious studies (not to be confused with Bar and Bat Mitzvah, confirmation ceremonies for children).

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Shavuot, Jewish holidays, religious holidays, pilgrimage festivals, Ten Commandments