Passover 2021: When Does Passover Begin?

Learn About the History of Passover and Its Traditions

February 18, 2021

Passover begins at sundown on Saturday, March 27. What does this annual holiday celebrate? Learn about Passover’s meaning and find traditional recipes, including charoset and beef brisket.

What Is Passover?

The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an annual weeklong festival commemorating the emancipation of Jewish peoples from slavery (in ancient Egypt). The Hebrew name, Pesach, means “to passover” because the plague in Egypt that killed all first-borns passed over the Israelites’ homes, sparing the lives of their children.

When Is Passover?

The dates are based on the Hebrew calendar, from the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan (or Nisan) through the 22nd day.

Note: What is often called Passover today has its origins in two ancient observances. Nissan 14 was the Passover as mentioned in the Torah; at this time, an offering to the Lord, the sacrifice of a lamb, was slaughtered during the afternoon and prepared. Nissan 15 (the new day starting at sundown) was the beginning of the seven-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. On this start of Nissan 15, the Passover lamb that had been sacrificed and prepared on Nissan 14 (that same afternoon) was eaten that night (now Nissan 15), along with unleavened bread. Over time, the Festival of Unleavened Bread commonly became known as “Passover” and is usually considered as starting at sundown between Nissan 14 and Nissan 15.

Passover 2021 will be celebrated from March 27 to April 4. The first Seder will be on March 27 after nightfall, and the second Seder will be on March 28 after nightfall.

Passover Dates

Year Passover Begins (at sundown) Passover Ends (at nightfall, when 3 medium stars become visible)
2021 Saturday, March 27 Sunday, April 4
2022 Friday, April 15 Friday, April 22
2022 Wednesday, April 5 Wednesday, April 12

Celebrating Passover

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 after nightfall 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. The Seder meals ;include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.

Meaning of Passover

(Note: To some followers of Judaism, it is considered disrespectful to write out the name of the Lord in full. Because Passover is primarily a Jewish holiday, we have elected to follow this custom on this page by using “G-d” to refer to Him. Thank you for your understanding.)

In Hebrew, this festival is known as Pesach (which means “to pass over”), because G‑d passed over the Jewish homes to spare them from death that first Passover eve.

The Israelites had been slaves to Egyptian pharaohs for many decades. Moses tried to appeal to the Egyptians with a message from G-d, but this were ignored. Devastating plagues destroyed crops and livestock.

On the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G‑d the last of the ten plagues afflicted the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. However, G‑d spared the children of Israel, “passing over” their homes. The Pharaoh relented. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day and began the trek to Mount Sinai.

Passover Recipes

Perhaps the most well-known of Passover foods is maror (bitter herbs) and matzah (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.

For the duration of Passover, no leavened or fermented food or drink is eaten, including cake, cookies, cereal, pasta, and most alcoholic beverages.

Passover Charoset (or Haroset)

Traditionally, the matzah is served with a sweet condiment called charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, and wine. This symbolic dish represents the bricks used by the Jewish slaves to build Pharaoh’s cities. The basic recipe (though it varies) is:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into about 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grape juice or sweet Passover wine

Put the walnuts in the chopping bowl if doing by hand or a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Roughly chop into large dice or pulse just a few times in the processor, being careful not over-process. Add the apple pieces and chop or pulse to desired consistency. Add rest of ingredients and stir well to blend. Makes about 2 cups.

The above recipe is the most basic version. Below is another charoset recipe, which uses honey, raisins, and dried apricots.

Credit: Chatelaine

A traditional Passover meal also includes gefilte fish and matzo ball soup for starters. A classic dinner dish is a beef brisket.


Note: For the duration of the 8 (or 7 days in Israel) of Passover, chametz (leaven) is avoided.

If you do observe Passover, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable celebration!



Reader Comments

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Services are typically not

Services are typically not held in the synagogue for Passover. Call the local Rabbi in your town. If you bring a bible it should be the Old Testament. Those are in Hebrew and English. But remember that Hebrew is read from right to left whereas English is left to right. The reason that matters is the Hebrew Bible will have page 1 where English readers would consider the back of the book. Secondly, because you may have a hard time following the Hebrew, if I were in your shoes I'd call a Reform Rabbi. The Reform Temple in the US are usually all English whereas the Conservative and Orthodox have a good deal of Hebrew which might make it tough to follow along. Also the word Shul is the same as Synagogue or Temple. Think of those as interchangeable.

You will be accepted. No

You will be accepted. No worries on that one. And you can break the ice by telling your host you're related to Sammy Davis, Jr , an African American entertainer (part of the Rat Pack along with Frank Sinatra and others) who was also Jewish.

you are the real Jew by birth

you are the real Jew by birth read the book of Deuteronomy in your bible or read it on the internet and your eyes and ears will be open than go to the web site and learn who you are

Loistean, try

Loistean, try here:

You should definitely keep

You should definitely keep Passover because you are the true descendent of jacob. Do your research. Deut.chapter 28-30 you my friend and family are the true house of jacob,therefore you are commanded to keep Passover according to the laws given to us by our brother and prophet Moses.You my friend are a Isrealite,the true house of jacob,not a jew,infact anyone who claims to be Jewish is actually saying that they are like unto the house of judah. When you do your research you'll find there are 11 other tribes along with the tribe of judah that make up the house or children of jacob. So do your research and claim back your identity.You are a Hebrew Isrealite,not a African American,you are the real descendent of jacob and those that call themselves jews are imposters.

First consider what took

First consider what took place after Jesus had his LAST Passover with his disciples. he fist dismissed Judas who was about to betray him and then instituted a new arrangement with his faithful disciples You can read about this in all four gospels and in Matthew 26:26 - 28. Read about it, and to have more questions answered from the bible go to

I read that the spring

I read that the spring equinox determined the 1st day of the year. 14 days later at sundown (15th) began passover. Christ was crucified on that day on what would've been our Wed.(high sabbath). Rose 3 days later on Sat.(wkly sabbath). Fri thru Sun isn't 3 days. To the person that say we're not to observe passover, I'd say you should read Colossians. Christ is our Passover. The word easter is only in the bible one time. If you look in the Greek concordance you'll see the word was pesach (passover).

To further clarify your

To further clarify your calculations, Passover begins on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan (originally called Abib). That month begins with the nearest new moon to the Spring Equinox (March 21) as observed over Jerusalem. Thus this year, the nearest new moon will occur around April 1st., putting the celebration of the Passover 14 days later (beginning the evening of April 14 - since the Jewish "day", i.e. 24 hours, starts at sundown).

Regarding the use of the word “Easter” in the Bible at Acts 12:4, Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words makes some interesting comments. It says “Pascha is mistranslated "Easter" in Acts 12:4, AV, (it)denotes the Passover (RV). The phrase "after the Passover" signifies after the whole festival was at an end.”
Also of interest is this comment: “The term "Easter" is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast, but was not instituted by Christ, nor was it connected with Lent. From this Pasch the pagan festival of "Easter" was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.”

I agree with you, Jesus did

I agree with you, Jesus did die in the afternoon on the 15th day which was a Wednesday. The Jews kept Passover a day late that year just like this year 2015. Jesus died on the Holy day, then three full days later in the afternoon on Saturday Jesus was resurrected which was the18th day or 4th day of Passover but a Sabbath day. What better day to be resurrected. That night which became Sunday at dark Jesus left the tomb, so at dawn with first light, the tomb was empty. Jesus did not resurrect on Sunday but at the end of the Sabbath on Saturday. Three full days and three full night.72 hours from death to resurrection. Remember Nehemiah 13:19 shows us that at sundown the new day does not begin, proving the Jews kept the days wrong. The new day begins with darkness, read what God says "there was light then darkness the new day. Jews showed us that by not following but showing us the way.

Meant to say last sentence,

Meant to say last sentence, Jesus Showed us that by not following the Jews, Jesus showed us the way. The way to count, which is 1,2,3,4 etc. not to skip or add a day extra.
Thank you, Steve Surabian, True Israelite.

Pls when is the actual date

Pls when is the actual date for the feast of passover 2014,since they have 2 Adar

very large subject for years

very large subject for years my family has used a predescribed calander from shoprite-than I began to have questions concerning what I was doing and my show of or privacy for prayer-celebrations etc-according to month it is nisan exodus-12for years we had no lamb Christ being the lamb we used unleaved flour for the body and fruit of the vine for the cup of the new an everlasting covenant-according to the moon this became another question new moon I was told the first cresent so for years-than I thought when is a house a new house when I put the first 2x4 up or the last shingle?am I a new born when conceived or born?so when the moon is in dark and at each phase it is working toward new at full which was march 17th between12am an 1am and reigned until the same on the 18th-now remember genesis 1v5 evening and morning so actually it was the 18th an 19th and I set aside the flour an wine and today I set aside even the water for the bread/body-your ? my answer Passover april 1st than 7days of unleaved bread enjoy and be on the look out for the unity of his spirit with confirmation in the heavens

I have noticed there is a

I have noticed there is a little division as to when the passover is. An example is this article. It states that Passover begins with the new moon, which is said to be on the 27th, yet it shows that Passover began the evening before the 26th this year. Does anyone have any clarification on this?

The chronological reckoning

The chronological reckoning between John’s gospel and the synoptics presents a challenge, especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (13:2). While the synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday evening (Nisan 14) and Jesus being crucified on Friday, John’s gospel states that the Jews did not enter into the Praetorium “lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover” (18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening, but the Jews had not. In fact, John (19:14) states that Jesus’ trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (19:14). The question is, “Why did the disciples eat the Passover meal on Thursday?”
The answer lies in a difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. But Jews in the southern part, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees, those groups followed the southern scheme.
That variation doubtlessly caused confusion at times, but it also had some practical benefits. During Passover time, for instance, it allowed for the feast to be celebrated legitimately on two adjoining days, thereby permitting the temple sacrifices to be made over a total period of four hours rather than two. That separation of days may also have had the effect of reducing both regional and religious clashes between the two groups.
On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and the disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees, considered Passover day to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. By that variation, predetermined by God’s sovereign provision, Jesus could thereby legitimately celebrate the last Passover meal with His disciples and yet still be sacrificed on Passover day.

The MacArthur Study Bible. 1997 (J. MacArthur, Jr., Ed.) (electronic ed.). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

First off Jesus was not

First off Jesus was not crucified on Thursday or Friday, he was crucified on Wednesday. because he was dead three whole days, 72 hours. Also the Jews did keep Passover a day late, just as they do this year, which shows the proof. The New Moon in March 2015 was on the 20th at 4:38 EST. making March 20th the 1st day of Nisan so Thursday April 2nd is the 14th of Nisan which began at dark the previous day at dark. The evening of the 14th when the Lamb was to be slain will be Thursday April 2nd at Sundown. Jesus knows when the new day begins which is at dark not sunset. Nehemiah 13:19 shows that sundown took place because the shadow is on the gates, and then we are told this is before the sabbath.Jesus knows the right time, the Jews want the world to believe they Keep Passover right. So this year the Lamb was to be slain Thursday April 2nd at sunset but no need because Jesus is the Lamb. But since the Jews do not believe this they still should be slaughtering the Lamb on Thursday at sunset then at dark, which becomes the next day the 15th when you are to eat then the morning the Israelite, not Jews, leave and Jesus is crucified on the Holly day.and the Jews celebrated the next day same as this year, which is wrong. So your explanation that Jesus kept the days from sunrise to sunrise is misinformation. You say Jesus believed the Passover started on Sunrise Thursday to Sunrise Friday and the Jews who arrested and tried Jesus observed From Sunset Thursday. Well if as you say Jesus was crucified on Friday which you state would have been the Jew Passover because you say their Passover started on Thursday at sunset yet the Bible states Jesus had to come off the Cross before the JEW passover. This shows the JEW Passover was celebrated a day late from Gods Passover.
Thank you, Steven Surabian, True Isralite

dusk to dusk is YHVH'S day

Yeshua would never have celebrated Passover from sunrise to sunrise, Yeshua is the son of YHVH, HE knows the word of YHVH. and the Old Testament tells us clearly that YHVH'S day starts runs from DUSK to DUSK, so Yeshua would never have celebrated Passover from sunrise to sunrise. The Hebrew priests also killed the Passover lambs at 9 am in the morning and then again at 12pm on the day of preparation so that the cooked lambs would be ready to eat after dusk that evening, which would be the start of Passover. Yeshua had to be off the cross and buried before evening before the Passover started as the Passover is a High Sabbath and if Yeshua was buried on the Passover it would have possibly caused a riot, which Pontius Pilate and the Pharisees would have avoided at all costs. Yeshua was crucified on what we know as a Wednesday and rose late on the Sabbath afternoon. There are 12 hours in a day and 12 hours in a night and Yesua Himself confirmed this Matthew when He Himself said that a day has 12 hours, thus bringing His burial period to a full 72 hours. Yeshua is Lord /Adonai of the Sabbath. Easter is totally paganistic is origin. my family celebrate Passover not Easter. Shalom

Easter, Halloween, Christmas are indeed Pagan Holidays!

Yes you are right. People sometimes comment in Ignorance. With all the Youtube channels with scholars reading from the bible, there is no excuse for anyone to not understand at this late date that the Passover begins at Sundown/evening. And again you are right, Easter and Halloween are indeed Pagan Holidays and Christmas as EuroAmericans celebrate it is not the correct date for Jesus birth. As the bible talks about the people who started that tradition about cutting down the pine tree and decorating it with baubles. Yet the wicked continue with this false holiday rather than research and find the truth. Once again, with so many Youtube channels, there is no excuse for people to continue to celebrate something that is a falsehood. All one has to do is read up on how Christmas and easter came about. But many people prefer to live in their traditions rather than follow God's word which is truth. Let that be on their head. You did your job, what they can never say when they stand before judgment day is that they didn't know. What they can honestly say is that they refused to Listen!

Actually, Passover begins at

Actually, Passover begins at the FULL moon (after the new moon that is closest to the spring equinox). Also, keep in mind that each Jewish day is from sunset to sunset, so the holiday actually starts the evening before the date marked on most secular calendars. That is the night of the Passover Seder. Clear?

We have become Jewish by

We have become Jewish by choice and are celebrating Passover this year! I love the wonderful Feasts Of G-d and enjoy preparing Passover Meals. We celebrate the 8 days of Passover & are celebrating with joy at being connected with the G-d of Israel & His Messiah, Y'Shua.

So glad you have made the

So glad you have made the choice. My husband and I are of Jewish decent, but have been believers in Messiah, Y'Shua for many years and attend a wonderful messianic congregation. Have a blessed Passover.

If you believe Jesus (or

If you believe Jesus (or Y'shua) "Christ" is the messiah, than you are a believer in Christ and thus Christian. It's nice that you celebrate Passover but your still Christian.

If the Jewish are messianic

If the Jewish are messianic Jews that means they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God,Messiah,The beginning and the end.

Hi, My family and I observe

Hi, My family and I observe Passover. I don't really come from a religious background, but my family would always have the traditional Passover Seders growing up, and now we continue the tradition. It's been harder these days to prepare the Seder ourselves so we usually try to find a kosher restaurant in New York that hosts Seders. We uses to go to Darna, but that is now closed, so we now go to Talia's Steakhouse in Manhattan on the Upper West Side and they've been nothing but great so far. We are looking forward to joining them again this year.

Thanks be to Elohim for the

Thanks be to Elohim for the Exodus from Egypt.

Praise and Glory to The Lord

Praise and Glory to The Lord God Almighty..!! Thank you for my life, family and continued blessings from You my Lord, my King, my God..!!! :)