Home   Calendar   Holidays   Australia   Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av in Australia

Many Australian Jewish communities observe Tisha B’Av on the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. It is a day of mourning to remember events such as the destruction of the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem. When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat (Saturday), it is moved to Sunday, 10th of Av.

Yad and torah
Torah study is forbidden on Tisha B'Av except for sad texts such as the Book of Lamentations.
Torah study is forbidden on Tisha B'Av except for sad texts such as the Book of Lamentations.
©iStockphoto.com/Howard Sandler

What Do People Do?

Tisha B’Av is a sad day for many Jewish Australians. It reminds them of the oppression and violence that caused suffering among Jewish people throughout history. There are five activities that are forbidden on Tisha B’Av:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Washing oneself
  • Anointing oneself with oil.
  • Wearing leather shoes.
  • Sexual relations.

Fasting is an important part of Tisha B’Av. Fasting starts at sunset on the night before of Tisha B’Av and ends when night falls. Those who are sick are usually exempt from fasting during Tisha B’Av. Some Jewish Australians do not fast if Tisha B’Av is a Shabbat (resting day). They fast on the next day instead.

Many traditional mourning practices are observed, such as prayers and refraining from smiling, laughing, or wearing new clothing. Torah study is generally thought to bring joy. Therefore those who observe Tisha B’Av are allowed to study only certain portions of the Torah on Tisha B'Av.

The book of Lamentations is read during the evening services at many synagogues. A single light is lit at the pulpit of the synagogue and the parochet (curtain) is removed from the ark during an evening service on Tisha B’Av. However, it is customary to extinguish all synagogue lights and to only light one small lamp in many Sephardi Jewish communities. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

Public Life

Tisha B’Av is not a public holiday in Australia. However, some Jewish organizations may be closed or have restricted opening hours.


Tisha B’Av, also known as the Jewish Fast of Av, is a period of fasting, lamentation and prayer to remember the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem. The Jewish people still continued the fast day even after they rebuilt the First Temple after the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BCE. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple by burning it in 70 CE and this marked the start of a long exile period for Jewish people. These are two of five sad events or calamities that occurred on the ninth day of the month of Av. The other three were when:

  • Ten of the 12 scouts sent by Moses to Canaan gave negative reports of the area, leading to the Israelites’ despair.
  • The Romans captured the fortress city of Beitar, the last stronghold of the leaders of the Bar Kochba revolt, and thousands of Jewish people, including Bar Kokhba (or Kochba), were massacred in 135 CE.
  • The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 136 CE.

Tisha B’Av is a sad day that observes other major disasters and tragedies that Jewish people experienced throughout history, including the expulsion of the Jewish people from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492, as well as the mass deportation of Jewish people from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

Tisha B’Av begins at sunset on the previous day and lasts for more than 24 hours. It is the culmination of a three-week period of mourning. Weddings and other parties are generally not permitted and people refrain from cutting their hair during this period. It is customary to refrain from activities such as eating meat or drinking wine (except on the Shabbat) from the first to the ninth day of Av.

About Tisha B'Av in other countries

Read more about Tisha B'Av.

Tisha B'Av Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
TueJul 202010Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
TueAug 92011Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
SunJul 292012Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
TueJul 162013Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
TueAug 52014Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
SunJul 262015Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
SunAug 142016Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
TueAug 12017Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
SunJul 222018Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
SunAug 112019Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 
ThuJul 302020Tisha B'AvJewish holiday 

Quick Facts

Tisha B’Av is on the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar.

Tisha B'Av 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tisha B'Av 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019


Name in other languages

Tisha B'AvEnglish
Tischa beAvGerman
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in July 2018 in Australia

Fun Holiday on July 22, 2018

You might also like

The Hindu deity Rahu.

Solar Eclipse Myths

The solar eclipse has inspired many mythical stories and influenced human behavior. Even today, eclipses of the Sun are considered bad omens in many cultures. more

Watching Lunar Eclipses

A lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses, which have special safety requirements. more

December Solstice Facts

10 things you may not know about the December Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. more