Yes, of course Seder is not the only element in Passover, but is surely the shining star of the festival. Jews wait eagerly every year for this joyous occasion. Set the table such that it seems appealing to all the enthralling eyes. This festival is celebrated to honor the release of the Hebrew slaves from the enslavement of the ancient Egypt. A seven to eight days celebration, Passover begins with the Seder meal on the eve of the Hebrew month of Nisan. According to the Gregorian calendar, Passover falls in March or April. Seder is regarded as a ritual feast prepared and consumed purely based according to the Jewish laws. At the Seder table, the story of Passover is narrated to everyone around the table, with everyone contributing their bit to it. The table consists of a number of objects that clearly depicts the Jewish tradition and symbolizes the right spirit of the occasion. In case, you haven't had a chance of hosting a Seder, go ahead and read the article for ideas and requirements and throw a traditional Seder feast this Passover.
How to Set the Passover Seder Table
The Seder table is decorated with the finest tablecloth and silverware. The family members put on their best clothes for the meal. Traditionally, the person who leads the Seder is required to wear a white robe known as a kittel. Candles and candle sticks are arranged on trays around the table to catch on the melted wax. Initially, every participant only requires a plate and a wine glass for the first half of the Seder ceremony. Three matzahs are arranged in front of the leader in a special three-tiered matzah holder that comes with a Seder plate on top. A Kiddush cup is placed before the ceremony to drink wine four times during the meal. Various ceremonial foods are placed near the leader allowing him/ her to prepare the Seder plate.
Horseradish, eggs, charoset and saltwater are placed in porcelain or glass bowls while potatoes, greens and romaine lettuce go in silver bowls. The ceremonial wine is poured into a special goblet for the prophet Elijah, which is placed in the middle of the table. This is then poured into Kiddush cups for everyone present at the Seder. A Haggadah (Passover prayer book), a wine glass, matzah, charoset, salt water, karpas and a hard-boiled egg are placed on each guest's place at the Seder table. The Haggadahs are placed on top of the appetizer plate, under the dinner napkin. Haggadah is an ancient text that elaborates the entire Seder service. Both men and women are obliged to abide by the rules and regulations mentioned in the book. In most of the Jewish families, a member recites the main parts of the Haggadah in Aramaic and Hebrew. The leader, who reads out for the rest of them, often takes his time to discuss important points with his children. This is done to make the listeners aware of the significance of the text and the right interpretation of the words.
At most homes, every participant recite critical parts of the Haggadah in the original languages of Hebrew and Aramaic. While reading out the verses, the participants are interrupted by the leader to explain and discuss various points with the children. In some places, it is a custom for everyone to place pillows behind them for additional comfort. They are required to lean towards the left while drinking cups of wine at several points during the Seder. Usually, one or two Seders are observed by the Jews. However, the Israelites observe one Seder night during Passover, while Jews belonging to the Diaspora communities, apart from the Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, hold a Seder on the second night as well.
Try to make the table appear beautiful and festive. Use ideas and creativity in the choice of the silverware and the table settings will leave admirations around the table. Incorporate decorative and artistic Seder plates to insert the symbolic foods. You may include gorgeous table centerpieces and make everyone feel comfortable around the table.
Various traditions and customs are followed to prepare the Passover Seder table. Check out this article to know how to set the Pesach Seder table.