Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that commemorates both the delivery of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the summer grain harvest. While Shavuot is one of the three major Jewish holidays, not much emphasis has been given to its preparation and celebration compared to the other two pilgrim festivals: Sukkot and Passover. We can celebrate Sukkot by building a sukkah and having our meals in it. During Passover, we clean our homes, change our dishes, and consume different cuisines for a week. So, how can we celebrate Shavuot with our loved ones? Here are six suggestions for celebrating Shavuot so you can make the Jewish holiday more meaningful and enjoyable for your family.
Read the Story of Ruth
Read Megilat Ruth on Shavuot, the narrative of a young widowed Moabite lady who remains with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and decides to follow her and her way of life. You can commemorate Judaism’s greatest Jew-by-choice with a children’s book or a women’s commentary.
Cultivate Your Garden
Do you know that Shavuot is also celebrated as an agricultural festival? Therefore, take this opportunity to cultivate your garden by planting flowers or veggies in your home with your loved ones. You can also get your grandchildren to adorn your house with plants.
Remember Your Loved Ones
We memorialize loved ones who have passed on through the Yizkor ritual on Shavuot. Take the time to remember your grandparents, siblings, spouses, parents, children, friends, or other relatives who are no longer around – whether with your synagogue community or at home. You can also tell your grandchildren narratives about those whom you’re remembering so that they can live on in our minds.
Make It a Time for Revelations
Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the Torah’s revelation. Hence, you can celebrate Shavuot by making it a time for revelations. Shavuot is the ideal occasion for announcing a new baby or an upcoming planned trip. Your family can also gather to play a game of “Truth or Dare” and share fun details that build and strengthen relationships.
Pull an All-Nighter
Many Jews celebrate Shavuot with a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, a study session that lasts all night. During this time, they study the Torah and learn more about Judaism. Let your family experience Tikkun Leyl Shavuot by joining Jews all around the globe in an exciting ritual of studying Jewish laws, reading a Jewish book, or watching Jewish movies all night.
Eat Ice Cream and Cheese Blintzes
In the past, the Jews only ate dairy food to avoid breaking any of the kosher requirements after receiving the Torah. However, till today, we consume dairy products like cheese blintzes and ice cream to commemorate Shavuot.
As Shavuot occurs between the conclusion of the school year and the start of summer vacation, the festival is sometimes not celebrated. We hope that after reading this article, you will use some of the featured ideas to enjoy a fun and meaningful Shavuot with your family.