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The Flowers of Shavuot - June 9th

The Jewish festival of Shavuot marks the occasion of the Jew’s receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. It runs for two days and takes place seven weeks after the first day of Passover, this year making it the 9th of June. It is the origin of the Christian festival of Pentecost and is also referred to in the Bible as: Yom ha Bikkurim, Day of the First Fruits (Numbers 28:6) and Hag ha Kazir, The Harvest Feast (Exodus 23:16), as it marks the end of the barley harvest and beginning of the wheat harvest.

During Shavuot, homes and synagogues are decorated with flowers and plants in remembrance of spring and of the legend in which Mount Sinai became covered with greenery and flowers, including roses, when God gave the Torah to Moses.

Cl382_2Children also wear hair-bands of flowers, and carry baskets of fruit and flowers, forming a procession on their way to the synagogue, singing, dancing, and playing tambourines, recorders and other instruments. Prayers are recited, thanking God for his law, as set out in the scrolls of the Torah, and special dairy foods are prepared, like cheese blintzes and cheesecake.

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