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Tisha B'Av in Canada

Many Jewish Canadians observe Tisha B’Av, which is the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. It is a day to remember various 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.

Is Tisha B'Av a Public Holiday?

Tisha B'Av is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Torah

Torah study is forbidden on Tisha B'Av except for sad texts such as the Book of Lamentations.

©iStockphoto.com/David Powers

What Do People Do?

Many Jewish people in Canada observe Tisha B’Av, which is a day of mourning to remember the oppression and violence that caused suffering among Jewish people throughout history. Many Jewish communities follow various restrictions during Tisha B’Av. These restrictions may include:

  • Fasting.
  • Avoiding washing, bathing, shaving or wearing cosmetics.
  • Not wearing leather shoes.
  • Avoiding certain types of work.
  • Abstaining from sexual activities.

Many traditional mourning practices are observed, such as morning prayers and refraining from smiling and laughing. Those who observe Tisha B’Av are allowed to study only certain portions of the Torah and Talmud on Tisha B'Av. The book of Lamentations is read and prayers are recited in the synagogue. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

Some people spend time during this period listening to commentaries from respected rabbis or teachers about the observance. It is also traditional for some people to clean the house in the afternoon to prepare for the mashiach’s (messiah) arrival. People who are sick are exempted from fasting on the day.

Public Life

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

Background

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.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunJul 26Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2016SunAug 14Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2017TueAug 1Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2018SunJul 22Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2019SunAug 11Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2020ThuJul 30Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2021SunJul 18Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2022SunAug 7Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2023ThuJul 27Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2024TueAug 13Tisha B'AvJewish holiday
2025SunAug 3Tisha B'AvJewish holiday

We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

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