The 14th day of the month of Nissan is a very significant for Jews and followers of the religion all over the world. This is the day that gives a meaning to the real existence of their race. It is a known and well-accepted fact that a life without honor and freedom is futile and not worth living. And Passover is a saga of unmatched valor and courage that the Hebrews exhibited, against the tyranny and dictatorship of the Pharaohs of Egypt. Such an event should be and is celebrated with much pomp and glory all over the world. Although there may be slight variations in Passover celebrations, depending on the region of celebration, the basics remain the same. Read on to get a better idea as to how to celebrate Pesach holiday.
Passover Holiday Celebrations
Cleaning the House
Proper cleaning of the house before the first day of Passover is very essential. Any form of leavened products, called chametz, is strictly prohibited. Such products basically include bread, cornstarch, vinegar, cereals, grain and bread. Even crumbs, if any, should be disposed off, with a palm branch or a feather. The removal of such products is accompanied by the saying, “All leaven I have not seen or removed or that I don't know about is hereby null and void and ownerless as the dust of the earth." The disposal of the chametz can be done by burning it or storing it in a remote, sealed part of the house. You can also “sell” the same to a non-Jewish friend.
A unique custom among Jews is that every first born in the family has to fast on the day before Passover. This symbolizes the fact that the firstborn Jewish males in the ancient land of Egypt were not killed during the final plague.
It is almost mandatory to refrain from any kind of work on the first and the last day of Passover. However, this rule does not count for the intermediate days, which are commonly called Chol Ha-Mo'ed.
Ensure that you do not eat any kind of leavened products like bread, cereal or cornstarch. This has to be observed for the entire seven or eight days of Passover.
By far, the most important way of celebrating or observing Pesach is the observance of the Sedar meal. It starts from the first night of the festival and is usually observed on the subsequent night as well. The correct observation of customs and rituals of the meal is vital. The entire meal can be segregated into certain steps, as mentioned in the Holy Haggadah. This includes recital of prayers and blessings over the first cup of wine, proper cleaning or washing of hands, tasting the herbs and other dishes over the Seder plate in the correct manner as well as reciting blessings and Psalms of praise and also the traditional Passover songs.
Having fun and enjoyment is yet another important facet of Passover celebrations. The hiding of the Afikoman is a very popular game played by people of all age groups and is particularly very well-liked by the children. The person who is able to find it is declared the winner and given a prize.