|Passover Day - Feast of the Unleavened Bread|
As the month of April approaches, Jewish people gear them up to celebrate Passover Day which is marked to celebrate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
History of Passover
Before Pharaoh Ramses II imprisoned them in Egypt, the Jews had enjoyed good years of peace in that country. Even while in captivation and facing dreadful conditions the Jewish tribe worked hard to grow. Threatened by their progress, Pharaoh Ramses II issued a new decree which ordered to drown each new-born Jewish male child.
By God's grace, a baby boy was saved and later brought up by the Pharaoh�s daughter. Named as Moses and being raised by the Jewish servants in palace, the boy learnt about his background. He also understood the pain and despair of slavery. Witnessing moments of brutality and afraid of the Pharaoh�s treatment towards slaves, one day he left Egypt.
It was only by God's calling in the form of a burning bush that Moses traveled back to Egypt to request the Pharaoh to free the Jewish people. On his refusal, Moses then foretold that all the water of Egypt would turn blood if the Jewish were not freed. As a result, the Jews were made to flee quickly and in hurry they could not bake the dough. Therefore they were bound to carry the flat unleavened dough.
Crossing the Red Sea safely with the help of Moses, the Jewish people approached towards their Promised Land. Passover Day is thus celebrated to remember the Jewish freedom and their beginning of a new journey.
It requires a special set of dishes and utensils to use in Passover Meal. Since the Jews had to carry the flat bread while fleeing from Egypt, so to keep their remembrance alive the consumption of yeast products is prohibited on Passover Day. It is customary for Jewish people to remove all yeast products and leavened food from their homes before the festival begins.
Jewish have Seder during the first two nights of Passover. Seder is a special meal in which they have to follow certain order; beginning with breaking of matzah - a piece of flat bread. Part of the bread is hidden for the kids to find out later. To feel the pain and severity of slavery, people eat bitter herbs like horseradish and to signify the tears of enslaved Jews, green herbs are dipped in salt water.
To represent the Jewish sacrifice, a lamb shank and hard-boiled eggs too are placed on the table. People eat haroset, a blend of apples, dates, nuts and wine which represents the mortar they had to mix for the Pharaoh.
Thus, Passover Day is celebrated to relive all atrocities of slavery and the triumph of Jewish liberation. Generally the Passover celebration lasts for eight days but in Israel it is celebrated for seven days.
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