Sukkot - A Joyous Seven-Day Festival

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One of the most uplifting of the Jewish holidays is a festival called Sukkot. This holiday lasts for seven days and occurs after Yom Kippur. The purpose of the holiday is to rejoice. Jews observing this special festival are not allowed to work on the first and second day, though they are allowed to work on the remaining five days. The holiday honors the forty years in which the people of Israel were in the desert without a stable place to live. It is also seen as being an agricultural festival. In this article, you will learn how people celebrate Sukkot and what the holiday means to them.

Jewish people who celebrate Sukkot will build small dwellings called “sukkahs.” These are to honor the dwellings that the Israeli people built and lived in as they traveled in the desert. A sukkah is a dwelling that has at least three walls. It also must be stable enough that it will not be destroyed in heavy wind or rain. In modern times, sukkahs are normally made from canvas, so they are very similar to tents. Practicing Jews are required to eat their meals in the dwelling over the course of the holiday. If the weather is fine, many followers will spend days in the sukkah and will even sleep there over night.

One of the most pleasant elements of Sukkot is decorating the sukkah. People who have grown up following Christian traditions will find this part of the celebration to be familiar. In one sense, decorating the dwelling is not unlike decorating a Christmas tree. Both acts are done with the same festive holiday cheer. Since the holiday occurs in the fall, sukkahs in The United States are often decorated with colorful corn and squash. There are also prayers that are to be said before each and every meal enjoyed in the sukkah.

Unfortunately, Sukkot is not commonly known outside of the Jewish faith. For Jewish people, however, the festival is a great time. Since the holiday occurs right after Yom Kippur, which is one of the most introspective of the Jewish holidays, Sukkot may seem especially festive. Jewish families whose children sometimes feel left out during the Christian holiday season should seriously consider celebrating this seven day festival. It’s a great way to celebrate thanks, be gracious, and have fun together as a family. The festival is certainly an underappreciated Jewish tradition.

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Posted by on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010. Filed under Sukkot. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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