Passover Quick Facts - AU

AKA NamePesach, Feast of Unleavened Bread
HashtagsCompiled on#Passover
Related Hashtags#BringThemHomeNow, #Pesach, #Hamas, #Seder
2024 Date22 April 2024
2025 Date12 April 2025


Passover (Start) in
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Passover History

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt as narrated in the biblical Exodus. Central to the celebration is the Seder meal, which consists of symbolic foods served on a Seder plate. These foods symbolise aspects of the Exodus story, such as the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom. This highly ritualised meal includes recitations, prayers, songs and storytelling to remember and pass on the history and lessons of the Exodus.

The history of Passover's observance in Australia can be traced back to the first Jewish settlers in the early 19th century. This religious practice has continued to thrive with the growth of the Jewish community in Australia. For Jewish Australians, Passover represents not only a strong connection to their ancestry and religious history, but also an opportunity to reflect on the broader themes of liberation, freedom, and social justice. Many Jewish Australians utilise this event to connect with the wider community and raise awareness about ongoing social justice issues.

The observance of Passover (Start) in Australia mirrors the global practices with a unique touch of Australian spirit and the multicultural environment. The Seder meal is observed among families and friends, with some synagogues also hosting communal Seder meals. The date of Passover is determined by the Hebrew calendar, wherein it commences on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan, typically falling in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. In Australia, as with other Jewish communities worldwide, Passover lasts for eight days, beginning with the Seder meal and ending with additional days of celebration.

Facts about Start of Passover

  • Traditionally, in accordance with Biblical Law, all Orthodox Jews remove all leaven bread, cakes, and flour-containing or flour-derived products from their homes in the weeks leading up to Passover. These products include beer, whiskey, flour, and all patisserie produces. Any products remaining on the Eve of Passover are given away to non-Jews, sold, or burnt.
  • On Passover, Jews are to eat only unleavened bread (Matzah), baked from flour and water and prepared (mixed and baked) within eighteen minutes. Unleavened bread symbolizes Israelites leaving Egypt in such haste they could not wait for their bread dough to rise.
  • On the first day of Passover it is customary to hold a Seder Night celebration with family and friends. During this celebration, the Haggadah typically read and sang. The Haggadah includes telling the story of fleeing of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, the fact that their dough could not rise due to the hurried exit, blessings over Matzah, and songs of praise and happiness.
  • In 1895, during a Passover, much of Western Australia was suffering from severe drought. To end this, the Jewish community gathered at the Perth Synagogue to pray for rain. Surprisingly, before the prayer service ended, it rained heavily, and this story is remembered as a remarkable Passover celebration in Australia.
  • In Australia, the Passover dinner or Seder often includes a moment to remember the Jewish people who died during the Holocaust. This makes the Australian Passover traditional meal a commemoration of both the historical exodus from Egypt and the more recent history of Jewish persecution during World War II.

Top things to do in Australia for Start of Passover

  • Attend a Seder dinner or learn how to make your own Seder.
  • Make Matzah. You can watch how to make matzah on youtube.
  • Visit The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra: If you're a fan of art, the National Gallery will be open during Passover and offers a wide range of Australian and international art.
  • Participate in Jewish Walking Tours: Organized by The Sydney Jewish Museum and The Jewish Holocaust Centre, this event is a walking tour designed to explore Jewish history and culture with a focus on Passover.

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