The Jewish holiday Passover occurs in the spring, usually in April or March, around the same time as Easter. It's a major religious holiday in Judaism that lasts for eight days. There are a number of important Passover traditions observed by practicing Jews during this time, including not eating leavened bread and hosting or attending Passover seders. Whether or not you celebrate Passover, you might be curious about proper Passover greetings to use during the holiday. For starters, you may want to know whether or not it's appropriate to wish someone a "Happy Passover."
The Passover date changes every year based on the luni-solar Jewish calendar, where the months are based on lunar months, and the years are based on solar years. According to the Hebrew calendar, the current year is 5783. Passover falls during the Hebrew month of Nisan. This year, Passover beings at sundown on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 and ends at sundown on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Ahead of the holiday, here's everything to know about appropriate Passover greetings.
What is the proper Passover greeting?
Whether you are attending a seder for the first time, or you want to greet a Jewish friend or colleague appropriately, knowing the proper terminology will definitely be appreciated. As with any religion, greetings vary from holiday to holiday — and not all of them are considered "happy." There are a few different Passover greetings, both in English and Hebrew, and the one you choose might depend on the level of observance of the person you're wishing well. Keep reading for the most common Passover greetings, including how to say happy Passover (or Pesach, in Hebrew).
Do you say Happy Passover?
First of all, yes, you can — and should — wish someone a happy Passover during the holiday. If you're most comfortable sticking to English, "Happy Passover" is perfectly acceptable, and your Jewish friends and loved ones will appreciate the sentiment.
For those who keep their home kosher for Passover (removing all leavened grains, known as chametz ahead of the holiday), you can wish them a "kosher and joyous Passover."
How to say Happy Passover in Hebrew
If you're a beginner who wants to try your hand at saying Happy Passover in Hebrew, you can start by saying "Happy Pesach," which is the Hebrew word for Passover. This is pronounced PEH-sach, emphasis on the "ch" (like in the name Bach).
Another option is to say, "chag sameach," which is not specific to Passover, but is the Hebrew equivalent of saying "happy holidays." To make the phrase Passover specific, you just add "Pesach." So, "chag Pesach sameach." To wish someone a kosher and joyous passover in Hebrew, it would be: "chag Pesach kasher vesame'ach." This is pronounced as follows: CHAG PEH-sach kah-SHER ve-sah-MAY-ach, according to Chabad.
Other common Passover greetings
An alternative phrase to use before the holiday begins is to wish someone a zissen Pesach, or a sweet Passover.
You may also hear "gut yom tov," which has the oddly redundant literal English translation of "good good day." This is another holiday greeting that is not Passover-specific, and works for pretty much any Jewish holiday.
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