The Festival of Sukkot
Sukkot commences at sundown on 18th September 2013. Next year it falls on October 8th and in 2015 it begins on September 27th. Sukkot is a joyous Jewish festival in which the 40 years that the Jewish people spent wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt are celebrated. In this time they lived in temporary shelters referred to as sukkahs.
The holiday takes up seven whole days and starts five days after Yom Kippur. This timing is not a coincidence, as Jewish people believe that it is only after they have been able to reach a new level of atonement and purity on Yom Kippur that they will be able to become truly joyous in the Festival of Sukkot.
No work is permitted to be performed in the first two days of the festival. The sukkah is one of the major symbols of this holiday, with Jewish tradition being that a sukkah is constructed, decorated and inhabited during the week-long celebration.
When the Jewish people celebrate during the Festival of Sukkot, they are giving the contents of their hearts to the whole world; this means that when their God brings peace to Earth it will be for all humanity. The Sukkot Festival’s offerings in the days when the Holy Temple still stood in Jerusalem included 70 oxen – corresponding to the 70 nations – in prayer for harmony and peace for the entire world. Sukkot is a holiday that is very rich in both meaning and tradition.
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