The Jewish festival of Shavuot

Shavuot is known as the Festival of Weeks in English and Pentecost in Ancient Greek.  (Pentecost is also the name of a Christian festival which, this year, happens on the same day.)

Taking place 7 weeks after Passover, Shavuot has a dual significance:

  • It commemorates the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai. The Torah are the first five books of what many know as the Old Testament.
  • It marks the start of wheat harvest in Jewish culture (and traditionally the end of the barley harvest).

Shavuot is definitely a joyous festival.  In Biblical times, Shavuot was an opportunity for people to bring the first fruits of the harvest (known as Bikkurim) to the Temple in Jerusalem.  So now, it is a festival with lots of delicious food attached to it, particularly dairy food.  Traditional recipes for Shavuot include cheese blintzes (thin pancakes with cheese) or flatbread, creamy pasta, polenta, soups, cheese salads, cheesecakes, and ice cream.

Some Jews will precede this feasting with staying up all night to study the Torah

Homes and synagogues are decorated with plants, flowers, and leafy branches.

In common with many other Jewish holidays which begin at sundown the day before the date specified, Shavuot this year runs from the evening of Saturday 8th June until the evening of Monday 10 June.

Mary Vickers moved to North East Lincolnshire in 2010, from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, to become Urban and Industrial Chaplain NELincs. Made redundant in 2017, she's maintained many of her connections within the business, faith, and other local communities. She's also decided to stay here rather than return to either the south or her husband's native Yorkshire, so that she can continue to enjoy and help promote the positives of NELincs.

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