Passover is a Jewish festival which is marked to celebrate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The preparations and atmosphere of this festival is important as it makes every Jew participate in real Exodus.
To get into the real feel of the occasion, you have to do everything in the correct order. Therefore, Passover Day requires a lot of preparation before hand.
- Before Passover begins, all Jewish families need to clean their homes thoroughly.
- Certain food items, called chametz are strictly prohibited during Passover. "Any substance of barley, oats and wheat which comes in contact with water for longer than 18 minutes is known as chametz". Pet food, beverages and even cosmetics too are included in this.
- Therefore, you must remove all the traces of such food articles which are not to-be-used during Passover; like alcohol, bread, cereal, cornstarch, grains and vinegar.
- To dispose off the chametz, collect all the crumbs in a disposal bag and tie it with a feather or a palm branch saying, "The leaven I have not seen or could not remove is hereby null and void. It is as ownerless as the dust of the earth." Remember to burn the chametz afterwards.
- In case you come across some left-over prohibited material then store it at a remote 'sealed off' part of your home and sell it to some non-Jewish friend. You can, however, redeem it once the festival gets over.
- To commemorate the fact that the first born Jewish males in Egypt were not killed during the period of final plague, the first born male of the family observes fast on Passover Day. To carry the custom, observe the fast if you are the first born male in the family.
- Not for a chance should you eat or touch chametz during seven or eight days of Passover. There are symbolic foods that need to be eaten at specific times and prayers that need to be prayed. You must consume only that specified food items during Passover.
- During the first and last days of Passover, you will have to refrain yourself from the work. If necessary, you are allowed to work on the intermediate days, also known as Chol Ha-Mo'ed.
- It is a custom to hold a Seder on the first night of Passover. If you can not hold one for any reason then you should attend someone else's where you can participate reading the haggada, which depicts the story of the Exodus.
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