Each spring, Jews around the world celebrate Passover, a holiday that commemorates the Israelites' escape from slavery in ancient Egypt. Passover celebrations include attending religious services, gathering with friends and family, and having a seder, or religious meal.
And especially after the hardships that came for many in 2020 with the ongoing global pandemic, police brutality and social unrest, and incredibly high levels of unemployment, Passover in 2021 will be a time to think about new beginnings. In the season of spring, a time of rebirth and leaving behind gray winter days, Passover calls on Jews to look back to a time of oppression that ended with a new beginning and a new path forward to find safer and better things ahead.
The holiday lasts for eight nights and throughout Passover, Jews stick to strict dietary rules including not eating any leavened bread products such as bread and pasta, which is meant to symbolize the fact that the Israelites did not have time for their bread to rise when they were fleeing Egypt. In addition to other traditional Passover recipes, matzah or matzo is eaten, which is a sort of cracker that's specially made for Passover. Matzo meal can also be used to make dishes like matzah ball soup, which is a tasty chicken broth soup that often has vegetables like carrots and celery and features fluffy balls made of matzah.
While Passover marks the Jews' escape from ancient Egyptian slavery, the holiday is also a time for Jews to gather with friends and family to discuss topics like freedom, equality, and finding your place in a world that has not always been, and in many ways still isn't, welcoming.
If you're new to the Jewish faith, or just curious about this important Jewish holiday, here's what you need to know about this year's Passover.
When is Passover 2021?
The date of Passover changes each year, since Jewish holidays rely on a lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. This year, Passover begins at sundown on March 27 and ends on April 4. Many people have Passover seders the first and/or second nights of Passover, so seders will occur on March 27 and 28.
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