Passover is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Jews. There are many customs and traditions that have been followed by the Jews from the time they first celebrated the festival. Many of these rituals borrow heavily from the story of Exodus, as narrated by the Hebrew bible. Over the years, Jews continued to follow some of the old rituals to keep the traditions set by their ancestors alive. They have also added some new practices to the old customs, as the age-old festival continued to evolve. Read the article to know about some of the most followed Passover rituals.
Pesach Traditions & Customs
The Holy Bible (Old Testament) states that Nissan is the first month of the year and Passover is the 14th day of the first month. To welcome the holiday with sweets, Bssisa is prepared in the Jewish households. It is a combination of extra-fine grinned wheat, oats, coriander, cumin, dates, figs and cinnamon. As the ritual goes, all the members of the family assemble at their parents’ house. While the father holds the bowl containing the mixture, the mother pours olive oil on his fingers, as he mixes it and prays to God. Then, the mother holds the bowl and performs the same ritual. The women usually put their wedding rings inside the mixture for good luck and happy marriage.
Night Of Lettuce & Flowers (Lillch el ches ul nuwar)
The night of lettuce and flowers refers to the last night of Passover. In the early afternoon hours, the bachelors in the neighborhood stay in the streets of the old city, with a flower in their hand. The single girls stand at the port of their house, dressed in finest clothes and jewels made of gold and silver. Most of the girls prefer to dress in a traditional style, wearing a silk waistcoat with golden threads, siphon blouse with velvet shoulder and silver embroidery (fermella), along with bracelets and necklaces. The boys approach the girls and give them the flower. If a girl accepts the flower, she conveys an interest in the guy that he can come home and talk to her parents. The boys, who want to get engaged, send one of the youngsters from the family with a lettuce and flower basket to the girls’ home.
In many Jewish families, the father buys a customary lamb a few weeks before Passover. On the Seder evening, the family looks for the Rabbi, who is also a butcher, to slaughter the lamb. The Rabbi is brought to the house and he slaughters the lamb on the outside of the house. It has been a custom to give the butcher a piece of meat, along with some money.
Painting the House
Every Jewish woman tries to decorate her home and keep it spanking clean for the Passover festival. It has been a long standing Jewish tradition to paint the insides of the house, including every wall and ceiling. The interiors are painted fresh to give them a pure appearance. Passover is the time when Jews decorate and clean their homes and the cleaning and beautification drive starts weeks before the arrival of this religious festival.