Shavuot Quick Facts - CA

AKA NameChag Habikurim, Festival of Weeks
HashtagsCompiled on#Shavuot, #HappyShavuot
Related Hashtags#Torah, #Israel, #Jewish, #Kosher, #Sukot, #Pesaj
2024 DateJune 11, 2024
2025 DateJune 2, 2025


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Shavuot History

Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai, following their exodus from Egypt. Observed by Jewish communities across Canada, Shavuot serves as a reminder of the bond between God and the Jewish people. It also serves as a reminder of their commitment to upholding His teachings.

The origins of Shavuot are traced back to biblical times when it began as an agricultural festival. This aspect of the holiday remains relevant today, as it is customary for Jewish households to decorate their homes with fresh flowers and greenery during Shavuot to symbolize the harvest season. Dairy foods such as cheesecake and blintzes are often enjoyed during Shavuot meals, as they represent the sweetness of the Torah and the nourishment it provides to the Jewish people.

Falling 50 days after the second night of Passover, Shavuot can occur anywhere between late May to mid-June, depending on the Hebrew calendar. This year, Shavuot begins at sundown on June 4th and concludes at nightfall on June 6th.

Shavuot facts

  • It is customary in Orthodox and some traditional communities to partake in Bible/Jewish Law lessons throughout the eve and night of Shavuot. This is in order to accept the Torah for their generation. In Jerusalem, many people learn the whole night through until dawn and then walk to the Western Wall at sunrise and pray the morning and festival prayer from around 5-8 am. Thereafter, they go home for a hearty festive breakfast and then sleep the rest of the morning.
  • The Book of Ruth is read in the Synagogue in the Morning of Shavuot. Ruth converted to Judaism and it is her descendant, David, who became King in Israel. The book of Ruth demonstrates that achieving a high level in Judaism, is neither ethnic nor genetic.
  • The word "Shavuot" means "weeks" in Hebrew, referring to the seven weeks of the counting of the Omer between the two holidays.
  • One of the most popular Shavuot customs in Canada is partaking in dairy-based meals, symbolizing the purity of the Torah and the Israelites’ new responsibility to follow its laws. Common dishes include cheese blintzes, cheesecakes, and other dairy-based desserts.
  • Some Jewish communities in Canada decorate their homes and synagogues with greenery and flowers during Shavuot. This symbolizes the agricultural aspect of the holiday and Mount Sinai's transformation into a fertile oasis when the Torah was given.

Top things to do in Canada for Start of Shavuot

  • Visit Mount Sinai (Egypt) or Israel.
  • Celebrate Shavuot by preparing a dairy-based dish. Some of our suggestions include:
    1. Cheese Blintzes: Delicate and thin pancakes filled with a sweet cheese mixture. This dish is a traditional favorite for Shavuot, as dairy meals are customary on this Jewish holiday.
    2. Quiche: This savory and delicious dish is made with a variety of cheeses, vegetables, and sometimes meat. A popular vegetarian option for Shavuot could be a spinach and feta quiche.
    3. Israeli Salad with Feta Cheese: A refreshing combination of finely chopped vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, mixed with feta cheese and dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and za'atar.
  • Attend a local dairy meal or potluck. Many Jewish community centers, such as the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto or the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, host special dairy meals, brunches, or potlucks during Shavuot.

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