When is Passover in 2016? See which evening Passover begins—as well as history about this important Jewish day.
The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an annual weeklong festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery.
The festival begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan—which derives its name from the passing over of the homes of the Israelite slaves during the tenth plague.
Passover begins in the evening at sundown prior to the first full day of the festival.
For example: If Friday, April 22 is the first evening (at sundown), then Saturday, April 23 is the first full day.
Note: For Almanac calendars, starting in 2016, we will start using the date for all Jewish observances to the sundown date, rather than the "First day of" in order to avoid confusion.
|Year||Passover (at sundown)|
|2014||Monday, April 14|
|2015||Friday, April 3|
|2016||Friday, April 22|
In many Reform Jewish communities, Passover is celebrated for seven days, not eight. In more traditional Jewish communities—including both Orthodox and Conservative communities—Passover is celebrated for eight days.
Family and friends gather together on the first and second nights of the holiday for the high point of the festival observance, the Seder. During the Seder, which means "order" in Hebrew, the experience of the Exodus is told in story, song, prayer, and the tasting of symbolic foods. Perhaps the most well-known of these foods is the matzoh (flat, crackerlike unleavened bread), which is a reminder of the haste with which the slaves left Egypt because they did not even have time for the bread to rise.
If you do celebrate Passover, please share your traditions below!