Thanks to our sister site, NYC on the Cheap for many of the following ideas.
Passover or Pesach is the first of the three major festivals in the Jewish calendar. (The other two are Shavu’ot and Sukkot). Passover occurs in spring and is followed seven weeks later by Shavu’ot. Sukkot occurs in autumn.
Passover commemorates the biblical story of Exodus, when Hebrew slaves were freed from bondage in Egypt. In the bible, the story is told in the Book of Exodus, Chapters 1-15. So, Passover is a celebration of freedom.
When the Israelites were freed, legend has it that they left in a hurry and could not wait for their bread dough to rise, which is why no leavened (raised) bread is eaten during Passover. Instead, it is replaced by matzo or matzah, a flat, unleavened bread. Pesach is observed by avoiding chametz or leavened bread (including even the presence of chametz in the house), and highlighted by the ritual Seder meal while retelling the story of the Exodus.
The first night of Passover begins with the Seder, a ceremonial meal containing the following six foods, used in an orderly ritual to commemorate the story of the Exodus.
- matzah (unleavened flatbread)
- zeroa (shankbone), beitzah (hard-boiled egg)
- maror and/or chazeret (bitter herbs such as horseradish or chicory)
- charoset (a sweet mixture that is often made of apples, nuts, wine, and traditional spices)
- karpas or raw vegetable (usually parsley, celery, or a boiled potato)
- salt or vinegar
Another Passover custom is a guide called the Haggadah, which means “telling”. Its primary purpose is to guide participants through the ritual Seder meal, indicating when and how each rite is performed to retell the story of the Israelites Exodus from Egypt.
Other Passover customs include cleaning the home and lighting candles. For more information, read about Passover.
Passover 2019 begins at sunset (7:36 PM) on Friday, April 19 and ends at sunset (7:47 PM) on Saturday, April 27.
The following sections offer ideas for Seattle Passover resources, including Seder customs, haggadahs, recipes, and activities and inspiration for children.
Seattle Passover Resources
- Jewish in Seattle magazine.
- Seattle Kosher restaurants, caterers, bakeries, and other grocery resources.
- Monthly Kosher Food Bank (requires advance registration). Food Bank for families who keep a kosher kitchen. Expect to take home around 30 pounds of groceries for FREE, including perishables. First Wednesday of every Month.
- Find a Passover Seder near you.
The links below offer a variety of education, inspiration, and modern perspectives to revive declining but important family rituals.
Passover Seder Haggadahs
(requires account, FREE registration)