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Many Jewish people in the United States mark Hoshana Rabbah (or Hoshana Raba) as the last day of Sukkot (Succot, Succoth, Sukkoth) in their calendars. This day is the end of the Sukkot period, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The Sukkot festival is observed during the week starting on 15th day of Tishri (or Tishrei), which is the first month of the year in the Jewish calendar.
Is Last Day of Sukkot a Public Holiday?
Last Day of Sukkot is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, October 20, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States.
What Do People Do?
Hoshana Rabbah is marked by a special service at the synagogue. During the service, the rolls of the Torah are taken out of their ark and worshippers make seven circuits while holding the four species and reciting Hoshanot (Psalm 118:25). The four species (four plants with symbolic meanings) are waved in proscribed directions after a blessing is recited during Sukkot, except on Shabbat (the Sabbath). People may do this at a synagogue, in the sukkah or at home. The beating of the aravah, a willow branch, is also performed.
Some sources say that it is traditional to wear a kittle (shroud worn on Yom Kippur) on the last day of Sukkot. It is also customary to eat a festive meal in the sukkah in the afternoon to fulfill the religious duty (mitzvah) of dwelling in the sukkah one last time for the year. The heavenly decrees made on Rosh Hashanah (and sealed on Yom Kippur) are sent out on Hoshana Rabbah, according to Jewish belief. The Kabbalah’s main book also says that nations around the world are judged on this day.
The last day of Sukkot is not a nationwide public holiday in the United States. However, many Jewish businesses, schools and organizations may be closed or offer a reduced level of service.
The Sukkot period is a time to remember the Jewish people’s wandering in the desert for 40 years following their exodus from Egypt, according to Jewish teachings. It is also a time to celebrate the grape harvest. Some sources claim that Sukkot lasts for about seven days while others state that it is an eight-day festival.
The seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabbah while the eighth day is known as Shmini Atzeret and the day after is called Simchat Torah. Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashanah.
An important Sukkot symbol is the sukkah. This is a temporary structure with a roof made of sechach or s'chach, which is raw, unfinished plant material, such as palm branches, bamboo poles, reeds or even corn stalks.
The “four species” are also important symbols of Sukkot and represent the blessings of nature. These are lulav (a green, closed frond of a date palm tree), hadass (twigs and leaves from a myrtle tree), aravah (twigs and leaves from a willow tree) and etrog (a lemon-like fruit of the citron tree).
About Last Day of Sukkot in other countriesRead more about Last Day of Sukkot.
Last Day of Sukkot Observances
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|2010||Wed||Sep 29||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2011||Wed||Oct 19||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2012||Sun||Oct 7||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2013||Wed||Sep 25||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2014||Wed||Oct 15||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2015||Sun||Oct 4||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2016||Sun||Oct 23||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2017||Wed||Oct 11||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2018||Sun||Sep 30||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2019||Sun||Oct 20||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
|2020||Fri||Oct 9||Last Day of Sukkot||Jewish holiday|
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