Apr 21, 2024 - Economy

Passover starts Monday. What to know about the Jewish holiday.

Passover Seder plate on a table with glasses and cups and Family Haggadah books

The first night of Passover is Monday, April 22. Photo: Paul Buckowski/Albany Times Union via Getty Images

The Jewish holiday of Passover starts at sundown Monday, days after the FBI warned of potential threats to American Jews.

Why it matters: The holiday, which is about freedom, will be a particularly emotional one for many Jews, because of the ongoing war in Gaza and record antisemitism.

  • Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. more than doubled last year, according to the final tally of cases by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
  • In Israel, some families are torn on how or if to celebrate, the Associated Press reported.

When is Passover 2024?

The big picture: The holiday starts Monday, April 22 and ends Tuesday, April 30.

Zoom in: Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which typically falls between March and April.

  • Passover often coincides with Easter, but the dates vary depending on the lunar cycle.

What is Passover?

The holiday, also called Pesach in Hebrew, is observed for eight days in the U.S.

  • It commemorates the biblical story of the Jewish people's escape from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Passover full moon

Fun fact: Passover always begins on the night of a full moon in accordance with the Jewish calendar, according to NASA.

  • The full Moon will be Tuesday at 7:49pm ET, NASA said.
  • It says the moon is known by many names including Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon, the Pesach or Passover Moon and the Hanuman Jayanti Festival Moon.

What is a Passover seder?

The seder is the main Passover ritual and is a holiday meal that includes the re-telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

  • Seder feasts are held on the first two nights of the holiday in the U.S.
  • After lighting candles, it's a 15-step feast, according to Chabad.

Yes, but: The seder is only held on the first night of Passover in Israel, according to MyJewishLearning.com.

Passover food rules and matzo

Dig in: Passover observers eat matzo, an unleavened bread, which is a flat crisp bread like a cracker.

  • It's a reminder that there was no time for the dough to rise when the Jews fled Egypt.
  • People who observe the holiday try to avoid food with grains, known as "chametz," like breads, pastas, pizza and beer.

Happy Passover greetings

Between the lines: You can wish someone a Happy Passover, Chabad notes.

  • Other holiday sayings include have a "kosher and joyous Passover" and "chag Pesach" in Hebrew.
  • It is not appropriate to say "Happy Yom Kippur" during the fall Jewish holiday, which marks the day of atonement.

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