Tu b'Av Date in the current year: August 19, 2016

Tu b'Av Tu b'Av is a minor Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av. In modern Israel it has become a holiday of love, somewhat similar to Valentine's Day.

The holiday's name actually means “the 15th of Av”. According to gematria, a numerology system, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned numerical value. “Tu” stands for the letters Tet and Vav that add up to 15 (9 and 6 accordingly).

In the days of the Holy Temple, Tu b'Av was a joyous holiday that commemorated the commencement of the grape harvest. It was customary for the unmarried girls to dress in white clothes, which needed to be borrowed, and go out to dance in the vineyards. The festival also celebrated the wood-offering brought in the Temple in Jerusalem.

As Tu b'Av is considered a minor holiday in Judaism, it does not have many established religious rituals associated with its observance. It is marked by a small change in liturgy – Tachanun, a part of morning and afternoon services, is not said.

The 15th of Av used to be a day when marriages were arranged therefore in modern Israel it is celebrated as a holiday of love. It is considered a good day for proposing, commitment ceremonies, weddings, or renewal of vows.

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