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Lag B'Omer in Canada

Quick Facts

Many Jewish people in Canada observe Lag B’Omer on the 18th day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar.

Local names

NameLanguage
Lag B'OmerEnglish
Lag Ba'omerFrench
Lag baOmerGerman

Lag B'Omer 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lag B'Omer 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
List of dates for other years

Many Jewish people in Canada observe Lag B’Omer, also known as Lag BaOmer, on the 18th day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar. The name of this observance means refers to the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer.

Burning Wood

Some Jewish communities in Canada have bonfire events during Lag B'Omer.

©iStockphoto.com/Sebastian Santa

What do people do?

Lag B’Omer is generally a day of celebration and joy for many Jewish people in Canada because mourning practices that occur during the Omer period are lifted on this date. Many Jewish communities in Canada celebrate Lag B’Omer by hosting various social events. They usually include a bonfire and are held outdoors, particularly if the weather is sunny.

Some of these events take place in the form of street festivals, while others are annual Lag B’Omer family barbecues or picnics that include live music and entertainment. Many Lag B’Omer festivities in Canada include opportunities for adults to socialize and for children to engage in fun activities such as spending time with farm animals. Some Lag B’Omer celebrations that are targeted at young audiences, such as teenagers, feature activities such as paintball games. 

Public life

Lag B’Omer is not a federal public holiday in Canada so many Lag B’Omer events are held after school or work hours (if not during the weekend), usually in the afternoon or early evening. Government offices, organizations, public transit services, and educational institutions operate to their usual schedules.

Background

The name of this Jewish observance refers to the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer. An “omer” refers to a sheaf of barley or wheat. In the book of Leviticus, it is written that God commanded people to make an offering of a sheaf of barley on each of the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot. The day number was announced after the evening service, and in time this ceremony came to be known as the “counting of the Omer”.

The reason why the 33rd day of this period was singled out may have something to do with an ancient pagan festival that was celebrated at the same time. Another story claims that a plague attacked Rabbi Akiba’s students in the second century CE suddenly stopped on this day. Many Jewish people also mark this date by remembering the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who was one of Rabbi Akiva's students. In any case, this observance represents a break in the season between Passover and Shavuot.

About Lag B'Omer in other countries

Read more about Lag B'Omer.

Lag B'Omer Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunMay 131990Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 21991Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 211992Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 91993Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
FriApr 291994Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 181995Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 71996Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 251997Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 141998Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 41999Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 232000Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
FriMay 112001Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueApr 302002Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 202003Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 92004Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
FriMay 272005Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 162006Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 62007Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
FriMay 232008Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 122009Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 22010Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 222011Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 102012Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunApr 282013Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 182014Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 72015Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 262016Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
SunMay 142017Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 32018Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
ThuMay 232019Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 
TueMay 122020Lag B'OmerJewish holiday 

Other holidays in May 2014 in Canada

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