Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Sarah McCubbin
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Major Jewish holidays are an integral part of the Jewish faith, and each year, they bring with them a rich tapestry of traditions, culture, and faith. They are also important to Christians for whom the Biblical holidays provide a deeper understanding into the Bible.
In 2024, the Hebrew calendar is filled with significant festivals and observances, each with its unique meaning and customs that are important to Jewish life and Jewish community. This comprehensive guide to Jewish holidays in 2024, with their dates in both the Gregorian and Hebrew calendar can be useful for planning your upcoming celebrations.
Jewish Holidays in 2024
One of the best resources for learning more about Jewish life, traditions AND current events is Chabad.org.
Rosh Hashanah: Head of the Year or “New Year” (Tishrei 1-2, 5785)
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal. It is also one of two Jewish High Holidays. It falls on the first and second days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which or September 30th and October 1st in 2024 on the Gregorian calendar. Jews around the world observe this holiday by attending synagogue services, sounding the shofar (ram’s horn), wishing one another “Shanah Tovah” and sharing festive meals with family and friends.
Yom Kippur: The Day of Atonement (Tishrei 10, 5785)
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is a solemn day of fasting and repentance. It is the holiest day of the year. It follows ten days after Rosh Hashanah on October 10th in 2024. On this day, Jews seek forgiveness for their sins through prayer and self-reflection, and many spend the entire day in synagogue in religious services, engaging in intense prayer services and introspection. It is the second High Holiday
Sukkot: The Feast of Booths (Tishrei 15-22, 5785)
Sukkot, often called the Feast of Tabernacles, is a joyful harvest festival celebrated from Tishrei 15 to 22. In 2024, Sukkot begins on October 15th and ends on October 22nd. During this holiday, Jews remember the story of the exodus and build temporary huts (sukkot) and celebrate with festive meals, waving the “Four Species” (the etrog, lulav, myrtle, and willow), symbolizing the unity of the Jewish people.
Shemini Atzeret (Tishrei 23, 5785)
Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are overlapping holidays, which directly follow Sukkot. Shemini Atzeret is celebrated from Wednesday October 23rd to Friday October 25th in 2024. It is a day of assembly and reflection when Jews pray for rain in the upcoming agricultural year. In Israel, this day also marks the conclusion of the annual Torah reading cycle and the beginning of a new cycle with the reading of the first chapter of Genesis.
Simchat Torah (Tishrei 23-24, 5785)
Simchat Torah is celebrated on the day after Shemini Atzeret. In 2024 it is on October 24th. Simchat Torah is celebrated from Thursday at sundown until Friday night. This joyful holiday marks the completion of the Torah reading cycle, and Jews take part in celebrations that include singing, dancing, and reading the last portion of Deuteronomy followed by the beginning of Genesis.
Chanukah: Hannukah (Kislev 25 – Tevet 3, 5785)
Chanukah is often referred to as the Festival of Lights. It is an eight-day festival that begins on the 25th of Kislev and continues until the 3rd of Tevet. In 2024, the start date of Chanukah is December 22nd and concludes on December 30th. The holiday marks the miracle of the oil in the Second Temple. Jews light the menorah, adding one candle each night, play dreidel, and enjoy traditional foods like latkes and kugel and matzo ball soup.
Tu B’Shevat: New Year for Trees (Shevat 15, 5785)
Tu B’Shevat, also known as the New Year for Trees, falls on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In 2024, this holiday takes place on February 9th. It’s a day for ecological awareness and often includes the planting of trees and enjoying fruits native to the Land of Israel….specifically pomegranates, olives, dates, wheat, barley, grapes, and figs.
Purim (Adar 14, 5785)
Purim is a holiday celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people through Queen Esther from Haman’s plot against the Jews. It falls on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. In 2024, Purim is observed on March 17th. On this day, Jews read the Book of Esther, exchange gifts, give to the needy, and enjoy a festive meal. Haman’s pockets are the most famous Purim food.
Pesach: Passover (Nisan 15-22, 5785)
Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays. It lasts for eight days, starting on the 15th day of Nisan, which corresponds to April 6th in 2024, and concluding on April 14th. Passover commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Ancient Egypt and involves a Seder meal with symbolic foods and the avoidance of leavened bread.
Shavuot (Sivan 6-7, 5785)
Shavuot, known as the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. In 2024, it begins on May 26th and ends on May 28th. Traditionally, Jews stay up all night studying Torah and enjoy dairy-based meals during this holiday.
Jewish holidays are filled with a wide variety of cultural and religious traditions, symbols, and rituals that connect Jews to their faith, history, and community. Understanding the significance of Jewish holidays is important for both Jews and Christians who want to have a deeper understanding of the God of Abraham. Learning about and enjoying these holidays is the perfect time to gather with friends and family while learning about faith.
If you are looking for activities to do with kids during Jewish holidays, these activity packs are designed to be open and go!
Kid’s Activity Packs