Shavuot in United States
Many Jewish Americans 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.
What Do People Do?
Many Jewish communities in the United States observe special customs on Shavuot. These activities include reading the Book of Ruth or staying up all night to study the Torah (the five books of Moses). Many Jewish people also eat dairy foods during Shavuot. Many homes are decorated with various plants, including those with flowers. Special prayers are made and candles are lit on this day. Jewish confirmations may also take place at this time of the year.
Some Jewish people take some of their annual holiday during this time of the year so they do not need to 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.
Shavuot is not a federal public holiday in the United States. However, some Jewish people may take some of their annual vacation around this time of the year.
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 countriesRead more about Shavuot.
Shavuot ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday type||Where it is observed|
|Wed||May 19||2010||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Jun 8||2011||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 27||2012||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||May 15||2013||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Jun 4||2014||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 24||2015||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Jun 12||2016||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||May 31||2017||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 20||2018||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Jun 9||2019||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||May 29||2020||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsShavuot, also known as the Festival of Weeks, is one of three major Jewish festivals.
Shavuot 2015Sunday, May 24, 2015
Shavuot 2016Sunday, June 12, 2016
Name in other languages
Alternative nameFeast of Weeks
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
Other holidays in May 2016 in United States
- Orthodox Easter – Sunday, May 1, 2016
- Orthodox Easter Monday – Monday, May 2, 2016
- Primary Election Day Indiana – Tuesday, May 3, 2016
- Yom HaShoah – Wednesday, May 4, 2016
- Ascension Day – Thursday, May 5, 2016
- National Nurses Day – Friday, May 6, 2016
- National Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Day – Saturday, May 7, 2016
- Mother's Day – Sunday, May 8, 2016
- Truman Day – Monday, May 9, 2016
- State Holiday – Tuesday, May 10, 2016
- Yom Ha'atzmaut – Thursday, May 12, 2016
- Pentecost – Sunday, May 15, 2016
- Whit Monday – Monday, May 16, 2016
- National Defense Transportation Day – Friday, May 20, 2016
- Armed Forces Day – Saturday, May 21, 2016
- Trinity Sunday – Sunday, May 22, 2016
- Emergency Medical Services for Children Day – Wednesday, May 25, 2016
- Corpus Christi – Thursday, May 26, 2016
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 30, 2016