(Last Updated on : 20-01-2015)
The Jewish community
is an integral part of the Indian population and it has been dwelling in the country for the past several years. The Jewish community
can be found predominantly in the regions like Kerala
and they celebrate several festivals which are rooted in the Indian culture. The Indian Jewish festivals represent colours, lights and happiness and they are celebrated in different times of the year. The Indian Jewish festivals vary from religious to social or cultural.
The Jewish calendar is full of festivals and special days and the Jewish people celebrate the festivals either to commemorate a major event in Jewish history
or celebrate a certain time of year, like the Jewish New Year. The Jews call the festival days as 'Yom Tovim' and they refrain from working on most of the festival days. The Indian Jewish festivals are celebrated according to specific rituals that are performed on those special days. Some of the popular Jewish festivals include Sabbath
(Saturday), Pesach or Passover
, Purim (Festival of Lots), Shavuot (Pentecost
), Rosh Hashanah
(Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur
(Day of Atonement), Hannukka etc.
-The religious Indian Jewish festival of Sabbath occupies the place of pride. The Sabbath or Saturday gives a day of rest and leisure to the Jewish people.
Pesach or Passover
- The festival named Pesach or Passover is another religious festival
that is celebrated during the months of April or May. It is celebrated to commemorate the liberation of the ancient Israelites from 400 years of slavery in Egypt, approximately 3000 years ago. Traditionally, the Jews converged on Jerusalem for marking the beginning of the agricultural year. The Jewish family and friends get together on this special day and observe Seder. This festivity is a unique ceremony that is performed on the first two evenings of Passover.
Feast of Tabernacle
- The feast of Tabernacle is another pilgrim festival held in either September or October. Dressing up in traditional attires, family gatherings and feasts are an integral part of Feast of Tabernacle.
- The Jewish people celebrate the cultural festivals with equal fervour. These festivities comprise of Shavuot (Pentecost). It is held in May-June and has an agricultural and historical significance.
Jewish New Year
- The Hashanah or the Jewish New Year is celebrated in September or October. This unique festival is the solemn season for self-assessment and judgement in the life of the Jews.
- The Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is considered as the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar and it is celebrated following the New Year. Fasts and fervent prayers are also a part of this Jewish festival.
- Hannukka, known as the festival of lights, is also celebrated with flamboyance.
Other than these, there are several Indian Jewish festivals that are celebrated all over the Indian subcontinent.