Passover (Pessah), is celebrated in the spring, beginning on 15 Nisan. Passover is the festival celebrating the Exodus from Egypt (c. 13th century BCE) and liberation from bondage. Freedom is, indeed, the festival’s dominant theme. The rites of Passover begin long before the festival, as families and businesses cleanse their premises of hametz - leaven and anything containing it - as prescribed in the Bible (Ex. 12:15-20). The day before the festival is devoted to preparatory rituals including ceremonial burning of the forbidden foodstuff. On the holiday evening, the seder is recited: an elaborate retelling of the enslavement and redemption. At this festive meal, the extended family gathers to read the Haggadah and enjoy traditional foods, particularly matza (unleavened bread). The following day’s observances resemble those of the other pilgrimage festivals.
Passover is probably second only to Yom Kippur in traditional observance by the generally nonobservant. In addition, a secular Passover rite based on the festival’s agricultural connotations is practiced in some kibbutzim. It serves as a spring festival, a festival of freedom, and the date of the harvesting of the first ripe grain. Passover also includes the second “intermediate” week - five half-sacred, half-ordinary days devoted to extended prayer and leisure - and it concludes with another festival day.
The Passover holiday will be celebrated this year from sundown on April 6, until April 13