Passover is the eight-day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II. The holiday's name, Pesach, meaning "passing over" or "protection" in Hebrew, is derived from the instruction that tradition says were given to Moses by God. In order to encourage the Pharaoh to free the Israelites, the story goes that God intended to kill the firstborn of both man and beast. To protect themselves, the Israelites were told to mark their dwellings with lamb's blood so that the angel of death would pass over their homes. Passover today is celebrated with family gatherings, a festival meal, and special foods.
Fun Facts About Passover
- Passover is the oldest continuously celebrated Jewish festival.
- Jewish people eat matzos, a flat, unleavened bread made of flour and water, during the Passover holiday. They do this to remember their ancestors who, in order to escape from slavery in Egypt, left in such a hurry that there was no time for their dough to rise.
- During Passover, the Coca-Cola bottling company of New York makes Coke that is kosher for Passover. Sugar is used instead of corn syrup, because corn is not considered kosher for Passover.
- Children play an important role in the Passover celebration. During the Seder dinner, the youngest child at the table generally asks four questions, the answers to which explain "why this night is different from all other nights."
Make a Floral Centerpiece for the Seder
What You Need:
- Several sheets of colored tissue paper
- Pipe cleaner
- Styrofoam or paper cup
- Markers or crayons
1. Cut eight to twelve 5-inch circles of tissue paper. Holding them together, poke a hole in their center.
2. Insert a pipe cleaner through the hole. Twist a knot at the top of the pipe cleaner.
3. Bring the first tissue circle up toward the middle around the pipe cleaner knot, crumpling it slightly to make it stand up. Repeat, arranging each petal. Make as many flowers as you wish.
4. Decorate the paper cup with markers or crayons. Fill the cup about halfway with salt to stabilize it.
5. Insert the pipe cleaner flowers into the salt to keep them upright. Place your flower arrangement in the center of the Seder table as a centerpiece.