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Tisha B'Av in the United Kingdom

Tisha B'Av, also spelled Tisha BeAv, is traditionally the saddest day of the year for Jewish people.

Model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem

©iStockphoto.com/flik47

Tisha B'Av in the Jewish Calendar

Tisha B'Av falls on the 9th day of Av, the fifth month of the Jewish calendar. The date falls in July or August in the Gregorian calendar. When Tisha B’Av occurs on a Shabbat (Saturday), it is deferred to Sunday, 10th of Av.

Is Tisha B'Av a Public Holiday?

No, Tisha B'Av is not a public holiday in the United Kingdom. However, some Jewish organizations may be closed or have restricted opening hours.

How Is Tisha B'Av Marked in the UK?

Jewish people around the world, including in the United Kingdom, are expected to adhere to a number of prohibitions on Tisha B'Av. These may include:

  • Fasting
  • No washing, bathing, shaving, or wearing cosmetics
  • No laughing, smiling, or idle conversation
  • No wearing of leather shoes
  • No sitting on comfortable chairs
  • Avoiding certain types of work
  • Abstaining from sexual activities

Tisha B'Av History

Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av, is the date of a number of momentous tragedies that have struck the Jewish people through the centuries—most prominently, the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem.

Who Observes Tisha B'Av in the UK?

The United Kingdom is estimated to have the 5th largest Jewish population in the world, with just under 300,000 people practicing the Jewish faith in the country.

By far the largest British Jewish community is found in London, followed by those in Manchester and Leeds.

History of Jews in the UK

Jewish settlement in England can be traced as far back as the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Jewish community outnumbered the Spanish and Portuguese communities in England by the 18th century.

Many Jewish families in Eastern Europe moved to England to escape persecution and hardship between 1881 and 1914. About 150,000 Jewish people settled in England, with large numbers staying at London's East End during that time. England continued to receive Jewish immigrants escaping persecution around the time of World War II (1939-1945).

Jewish Holidays Last Longer Outside of Israel

In the Jewish diaspora—Jewish communities outside of Israel—an extra day is usually added to religious observances, with the exception of Yom Kippur, which lasts only one day worldwide, and Rosh Hashana, which is celebrated over two days in both Israel and the diaspora.

This custom has its roots in ancient times when the beginning of the months in the Jewish calendar still relied on the sighting of the crescent Moon following a New Moon.

The beginning of a new month was determined by the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of ancient Israel in Jerusalem. Once the date was published, messengers were dispatched to spread the news among Jews living abroad. Since this process took some time, it was decreed that Jews outside of ancient Israel were to observe every holiday for 2 days to make sure that the rules and customs applicable to each holiday were observed on the proper date. This rule is still observed today.

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
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
2026ThuJul 23Tisha B'AvJewish holiday

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.