Shavuot in Australia

Many Jewish Australians observe Shavuot, which is the second of three major Jewish festivals that focus on historical and agricultural importance. The other two are Passover and Sukkot. Shavuot follows Passover by 50 days. Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of the month of Sivan in the Jewish calendar.

Wheat field
Shavuot is a Jewish festival that has both historical and agricultural significance.
Shavuot is a Jewish festival that has both historical and agricultural significance.
©iStockphoto.com/Tal Naveh

What Do People Do?

Many Jewish Australians celebrate Shavuot by attending social gatherings where they can enjoy a Kiddush (blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify a Jewish holiday), as well as eat dairy products such as with cheesecake or ice cream. Shavuot dinners are also held in Jewish communities in this period. Some dinners feature special guest speakers and discussion topics may focus on the history and meaning of Shavuot.

It is customary for many Jewish people to read the Book of Ruth and study the Torah (the five books of Moses) during Shavuot. Some people also take some of their annual holiday during this time of the year to refrain from work on Shavuot. Some sources say that, according to Jewish custom, no work is permitted on Shavuot except cooking, baking, transferring fire and carrying objects or equipment.

Public Life

Shavuot is not a public holiday in Australia. However, some Jewish people may take some of their annual leave around this time of the year.

Background

Shavuot is the second of three pilgrim festivals and it follows the Passover by 50 days. It is also known as the Festival of Weeks, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the Harvest because it originally marked the end of the seven weeks of the Passover barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. At one time, Jewish men were expected to bring their first omer, or sheaf, of barley to the Temple in Jerusalem as a thanksgiving offering.

After the period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, Shavuot also celebrated Moses’ return from the top of Mt Sinai with the two stone tablets containing the “Ten Commandments”. These commandments are the most fundamental laws of the Jewish faith. Therefore, Shavuot is also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Law.

About Shavuot in other countries

Read more about Shavuot.

Shavuot Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
WedMay 192010ShavuotJewish holiday 
WedJun 82011ShavuotJewish holiday 
SunMay 272012ShavuotJewish holiday 
WedMay 152013ShavuotJewish holiday 
WedJun 42014ShavuotJewish holiday 
SunMay 242015ShavuotJewish holiday 
SunJun 122016ShavuotJewish holiday 
WedMay 312017ShavuotJewish holiday 
SunMay 202018ShavuotJewish holiday 
SunJun 92019ShavuotJewish holiday 
FriMay 292020ShavuotJewish holiday 

Quick Facts

Shavuot, also known as the Festival of Weeks, is one of three major Jewish festivals celebrated among many Jewish Australians.

Shavuot 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Shavuot 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
ShavuotEnglish
Schawuot (Wochenfest)German
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in June 2016 in Australia

United Nation Holiday on June 12, 2016

Fun Holiday on June 12, 2016

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