The Festival of Weeks (also the Festival of the Giving of the Torah and the Festival of First Fruits), Shavuot is a holiday celebrated each year by the Jewish community. The date is not fixed, but falls forty-nine days after the second day of Passover (a period known as the Counting of the Omer). The fiftieth day (and outside Israel, also the fifty-first day) is Shavuot. This holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Israelite nation.
"And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the turn of the year."
"Also in the day of the first-fruits, when ye bring a new meal-offering unto the LORD in your feast of weeks, ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no manner of servile work." Numbers 28:26
During Shavuot, no work is done. On Shavuot night, celebrants stay awake studying and meditating on the Torah. A liturgical poem, the Akdamot (also Akdamut or Akdamus) is read. The Book of Ruth is read at synagogues during the second day of Shavuot (when it is celebrated), as the day is also the anniversary of the death of King David. Houses are adorned with displays of plants, fruit and flowers. It is also customary to serve a dairy meal during the holiday which can include cheesecake and blintzes.
Themes of Shavuot include grapes, pomegranates, barley, a silver or gold basket of fruit, challah or other specially shaped bread, olives, dates and wheat; also the Ten Commandments and the Torah.
Looking for Shavuot gifts? A wide selection is available at KosherGiftBox.com.
Greeting Card Universe offers a colorful selection of Shavuot greeting cards to exchange with friends and loved ones during this festival of the first fruits, strengthening your family ties and personal relationships as you celebrate your connection with God through the Torah.
When Is Shavuot?
2011 - Wednesday, June 8
2012 - Sunday, May 27
2013 - Wednesday, May 15
2014 - Wednesday, June 4
2015 - Sunday, May 24
2016 - Sunday, June 12
2017 - Wednesday, May 31
2018 - Sunday, May 20
2019 - Sunday, June 9
2020 - Friday, May 29
"And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD."
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