Passover, one of the important Jewish festivals, personifies the spirit of freedom. It is commemorated to mark the freedom of the Hebrew Jews from the slavery of the Egyptians. The Jewish people across the globe celebrate Passover with great zeal and vigor. This eight-day festival falls on the 15th of the first month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. Passover is characterized by re-unions, reciting blessings from the Holy Haggadah, serving the Seder meal, and feasting on luscious Passover dishes. Though Passover is deeply rooted in the history of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, this festival is celebrated with great gusto all over the world! People clean their homes and utensils long before Passover begins to remove any leavened grain present. Though Passover is celebrated by all Jews, regardless of where they live, each country has its own ways of celebrating this momentous occasion. Some customs and rituals are similar everywhere while some are distinctive to a particular place. Find out how Passover is celebrated in various different countries in this write-up.
Passover in Israel
Passover is one of the most sacred festivals for the Israelites as Passover is deeply rooted in the history of emancipation of Jewish slaves from the clutches of Egyptians. Interestingly, in Israel, Passover is a seven-day holiday with the first and last days observed as legal holidays. Israelites commemorate Passover by eating matzoh - the unleavened bread and other symbolic foods that remind them of the struggle of their ancestors.
Passover in Argentina
In Latin America, the largest concentration of Jewish population is found in Buenos Aires and Argentina itself has the seventh-largest Jewish inhabitants in the world. Although the festival is celebrated during the fall in Argentina, the celebrations are similar to the ones with those in Northern Hemisphere like in the United States. Family and friends come together to participate in the holy Seder meal and relish other delicious homemade recipes.
Passover in Canada
Passover is an eight-day festival in Canada. Jews in Canada either celebrate Passover with friends and family or visit a hotel or resort to take a vacation. Though Passover is not a public holiday in Canada, some Jewish commercial activities are partially or fully closed during Passover. During Passover, you can observe people hanging out with family and friends, skiing in the Canadian mountains, or visiting beautiful spots in Canada.
Passover in Australia
Australia is another popular abode among Jews to glorify Passover with great splendor and gaiety! In Australia, some people also conduct educational activities and lectures to expand the spirit and knowledge about history and life of Jews and Passover. Appetizing Seder meals can be experienced throughout Australia, such as at Fremantle, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbor, Darwin, Cairns to name a few.
Passover in Ethiopia
Passover in Ethiopia is very similar to Passover in Israel. This is because, a large number of Jews trailed from Ethiopia to Israel from Sudan. Hence, Passover not only signifies freedom of Israelis, but also for Ethiopian Jews. The Seder table is embellished with exclusive Ethiopian Jewish folk crafts and hand-embroidered table runners, matzoh mats and other decorations.
Passover in India
On the tropical west coast of India, one can find a small concentration of Jews residing. Instead of serving matzoh ball soup, brisket of beef or chopped liver, Jews in India indulge into ellegal (spice-rubbed fish in cool herb salsa), molagachi (mahogany chicken with black pepper), appam (coconut crepes with date sauce) and masalachi (mutton braised with garlic and coriander).
Passover in Nepal
The Jews celebrate Passover in Nepal with great pomp and show! The "Seder on Top of the World" is one of the largest known Passover Seders in the world, in Kathmandu, Nepal. Every year, Lubavitch rabbis reach the Chabad house in Nepal to arrange for the advent of thousands of Jewish backpackers. They bring a good amount of kosher matzoh, other food items and Haggadahs (Seder prayer book) to celebrate Passover with dignity in Nepal.
Passover in Poland
For centuries, Poland has been a striking destination for the largest and most prominent Jewish community in the world. Every Polish Jew celebrates Passover in a traditional manner. On the seventh day of Passover, Polish Jews re-enact the crossing of Red sea in their living rooms! Amusingly, they pour water on the floors, hike up their clothes, and speak out the name of the towns in the area they would pass while making their crossing.
Passover in Italy
Undoubtedly, gorgeous city of Venice in Italy is a favorite hub for the Jews! According to Italian Jewish tradition, the holy Seder plate is placed on a child's head and then turned around for everyone to glance through. After that, the Seder meal is taken by all, consisting of some Italian styled Jewish dishes like matzoh lasagna, carciofi alla romana and bresaola, Haroset all'italiana, etc.
Passover in Spain
Passover in Spain reveals a prosperous Sephardic Jewish culture during which the Jews observe fasts and consume only selected food items, like rice (considered Kosher by Sephardi Jews), corn, millets, string beans, green peas and chickpeas. Spanish Jews have a unique custom of reciting out the blessings over the first and third cup of wine. In Spain, olive oil is used to prepare the Passover delicacies.
During Passover, at any part of the world, you will find the Jews elevating the spirit of Passover traditionally. It is a time to rejoice, jubilate, re-unite with your loved ones, pamper yourself with mouth-watering recipes and of course recall the struggle and anguish of their ancestors during their slavery in Egypt!