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Passover (first day) in the United States

Passover (Pesach) generally lasts for eight days in the United States. Many Jewish people spend the Passover period with family members or close friends.

Is Passover (first day) a Public Holiday?

This is not a public holiday in the United States. Most businesses, schools, and offices are open and follow regular hours, but Jewish-run businesses and organizations might be closed.

Passing the matzo. The first day of Passover is marked with the Seder, a feast eaten with close family and friends.

©iStockphoto.com/JodiJacobson

What Do People Do?

Many people make a special effort to ensure that older people, the poor, and those living alone, can take part in the ceremonial meals known as Seder. They may do this by inviting people into their homes or giving them a gift basket. Passover gift baskets are filled with Seder plates and ceremonial foods and wine.

Public Life

Passover is not a federal holiday in the United States. However, some Jewish businesses and organizations may be closed or offer a reduced level of service over the Passover period.

Background and symbols

Passover is related to the Christian observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and the Islamic Day of Ashura.

Read about other Jewish observances, such as Tu B'Shevat (Arbor Day), Purim, Yom HaShoah, Lag B'Omer, Shavuot, Tisha B'Av, and Rosh Hashana.

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 Passover (first day) in Other Countries

Read more about Passover (first day).

Passover (first day) Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2016SatApr 23Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2017TueApr 11Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2018SatMar 31Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2019SatApr 20Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2020ThuApr 9Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2021SunMar 28Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2022SatApr 16Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2023ThuApr 6Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2024TueApr 23Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2025SunApr 13Passover (first day)Jewish holiday
2026ThuApr 2Passover (first day)Jewish 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.