Jews around the world celebrate Passover
Jews around the world will start celebrating eight-day holiday Pesach (Passover), associated with one of the main events of biblical history - the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and their liberation from slavery.
In the Torah, Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nissan, the day in the Hebrew calendar on which the Jewish departed from Egypt thousands of years ago.
Passover starts on April 19 this year and lasts for seven or eight days. The festival is traditionally observed for eight days by many Jewish people around the world, including those who left Israel as part of the Jewish diaspora. For those celebrating Passover for eight days, it will end this year on the evening of April 27.
During Passover, Jewish families come together for a traditional meal called the Seder. The Seder plate includes a variety of foods, each which is symbolic.
The entire system of Judaism is based on the memory of the Exodus and the subsequent events related to the acquisition of the Promised Land and the establishment their own independent state.
During Biblical times, the celebration of the Passover was followed by a pilgrimage to the Temple, sacrifices and the feast with a lamb dish. It is believed that the Passover united two ancient festivals of pastoralists and farmers. In Biblical times it was associated with the liberation from the Egyptian slavery.
The tradition ties the name of the Passover holiday with the fact that God "passed" (in Hebrew "pasach") by the houses of the Jews when he punished the Egyptians for the Pharaoh’s refusal to let the Jewish people go. The Torah calls it "The Feast of Unleavened Bread", because at Passover you are supposed to eat unleavened bread (matzah), and it strictly prohibited even to have at home leavened products (chametz).
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian Jews on this holiday. President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia Alexander Boroda and chief rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar also extended their congratulations.