Lag BaOmer Starts

Lag BaOmer Starts Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date25 May 2024
2025 Date16 May 2025

Lag BaOmer Starts

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Lag B'Omer History

Lag BaOmer, translated as 'the 33rd in the Omer,' denotes the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, a period of semi-mourning during which weddings, parties, haircuts, and other festive events are customarily abstained from. On Lag BaOmer, these restrictions are lifted and replaced with a celebratory atmosphere which includes bonfires, parades, music, and feasts.

In the United Kingdom, many Jewish communities observe Lag BaOmer, with its roots tracing back to the second-century Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who revealed the secrets of the Kabbalah on this day. The Rabbi is said to have spent 13 years hiding from the Romans in a cave, studying Torah, before emerging on Lag BaOmer. This day is central to Kabbalah and its teaching, Zohar, which many followers in the UK and beyond study. Additionally, this holiday also honours the cessation of a devastating plague that killed many of Rabbi Akiva's disciples.

Traditions for Lag BaOmer in the UK vary amongst different communities, but common observances include outdoor celebrations with bonfires reminiscent of Rabbi Shimon's light and wisdom. Parades and festival activities involving music, dancing, and food are frequently organised. Additionally, it is customary for many three-year-old boys to get their first haircut on this day. Lag BaOmer occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, which generally aligns with late April to early May in the Gregorian calendar.

Lag BaOmer Starts facts

  • Lag B'Omer is celebrated as the day that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai died. Simeon bar Yochai, also known as Rashbi, was a famous 1st-century sage in ancient Israel. As one of the most eminent disciples of Rabbi Akiva, he was active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The day he died is celebrated as an anniversary or Hillula. common custom is to light a bonfire on the eve of Lag B'Omer and to celebrate with music and dance.
  • The Omer period, is considered a period of mourning for the pupils of Rabbi Akiva. According to tradition, they died because they did not show each other enough respect. During the Omer no weddings are held and it is customary not to have haircuts, nor to buy new clothes or shoes.
  • In recent years, new traditions have emerged, such as Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest London hosting an annual "Great Lag BaOmer Parade" through Golders Green, attracting thousands of people.
  • "Lag BaOmer is a reminder that even in times of darkness, we have the power to ignite a spark of hope and faith." - Rabbi David Rosen, British chief rabbi

Top things to do in the UK for Lag B'Omer

  • Attend a Lag B'Omer Bonfire party which are popular at many Jewish communities.
  • Attend a Jewish Wedding. Lag B'Omer is a day on which many Jewish weddings are performed as the previous month had no such events.
  • Visit Stamford Hill in London, which is home to a large Jewish community. There is a lively atmosphere on this special occasion, as people gather around bonfires snd light candles in celebration of Lag BaOmer.
  • Visit Meron Hill in Manchester where a local Jewish community organizes bonfires and live music events to celebrate Lag BaOmer.

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