Shavuot Quick Facts - GB

AKA NameChag Habikurim, Festival of Weeks
HashtagsCompiled on#Shavuot
Related Hashtags#Torah, #Jewish, #Israel, #Jews, #HappyShavuot, #Kosher
2024 Date11 June 2024
2025 Date2 June 2025


Shavuot (Start) in

Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Shavuot -


Shavuot History

Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, is a Jewish festival that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Celebrated in the United Kingdom and around the world, the festival serves as an opportunity for Jewish communities to come together in prayer, study, and reflection on the foundational texts of their faith. Historically, Shavuot has its roots in ancient agricultural practices and was originally a harvest festival. As the Jewish people transitioned from a primarily agricultural society to one more focused on urban life, the religious importance of Shavuot evolved to emphasize its connection to the Torah and the covenant between God and Israel.

In the United Kingdom, Jewish communities celebrate Shavuot in a variety of ways. Customs include attending synagogue services, participating in all-night Torah study sessions known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot, and enjoying dairy-based meals. The festival is a time for reconnecting with Jewish heritage and engaging in spiritual reflection. Children often play a special role in celebrations, as Shavuot is seen as an opportunity to instill in them a love of Jewish learning and tradition.

Shavuot is observed on the 6th and 7th of Sivan in the Jewish calendar, which typically falls in late May or early June in the Gregorian calendar. The exact date varies from year to year, as the Jewish calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar cycles.

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.
  • In 1290, during the reign of King Edward I, Jews were expelled from England. The Jewish community began to re-establish in the 17th century, and since then Shavuot and other Jewish holidays have been celebrated within the UK.
  • There was a significant Jewish settlement in the UK in the 12th century mainly due to the work of Rabbi Moses ben Yom Tov of York. Many Jewish immigrants to England celebrated Shavuot within their communities and synagogues, and crafted illuminated manuscripts to commemorate the event.

Top things to do in the UK for Start of Shavuot

  • Visit Mount Sinai (Egypt) or Israel.
  • Watch a movie to learn about Shavuot and Jewish history. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Jewish Holidays: Shavuot - This educational documentary film is produced by The Jewish Channel. It explores the background and significance of Shavuot, along with its customs and traditions. The film can be helpful in understanding the festival, even though it may not be specifically focused on the United Kingdom.
    2. The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (2009) - Shavuot is often associated with the biblical story of Ruth, as the Book of Ruth is traditionally read during the holiday. This movie is a Bible-based drama that tells the story of Ruth and her journey of faith.
    3. The Story of the Jews (2013) - A BBC documentary series presented by historian Simon Schama, who is British, and traces the history of the Jewish people from the beginning. Even though it is not specific to Shavuot or the UK, it offers valuable insights into Jewish history and culture.
  • Prepare a dairy-rich dish to celebrate Shavuot. Some of our suggestions include: Kugel - A noodle or potato casserole, often sweetened with sugar and spices. It can be made with dairy ingredients for Shavuot.
    Tzatziki - A cucumber and yogurt dip, originating from Greece, made with grated cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and fresh dill or mint.
    Labneh - A Middle Eastern cheese made by straining yogurt, served with olive oil and herbs such as za'atar or mint.

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