Shavuot in the United States
Many Jewish Americans observe Shavuot, which is the second of three major Jewish festivals that focus on historical and agricultural importance. The other two are Passover and Sukkot. Shavuot follows Passover by 50 days. Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of the month of Sivan in the Jewish calendar.
What Do People Do?
Many Jewish communities in the United States observe special customs on Shavuot. These activities include reading the Book of Ruth or staying up all night to study the Torah (the five books of Moses). Many Jewish people also eat dairy foods during Shavuot. Many homes are decorated with various plants, including those with flowers. Special prayers are made and candles are lit on this day. Jewish confirmations may also take place at this time of the year.
Some Jewish people take some of their annual holiday during this time of the year so they do not need to work on Shavuot. Some sources say that, according to Jewish custom, no work is permitted on Shavuot except cooking, baking, transferring fire and carrying objects or equipment.
Shavuot is not a federal public holiday in the United States. However, some Jewish people may take some of their annual vacation around this time of the year.
Shavuot is the second of three pilgrim festivals and it follows the Passover by 50 days. It is also known as the Festival of Weeks, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the Harvest because it originally marked the end of the seven weeks of the Passover barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. At one time, Jewish men were expected to bring their first omer, or sheaf, of barley to the Temple in Jerusalem as a thanksgiving offering.
After the period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, Shavuot also celebrated Moses’ return from the top of Mt Sinai with the two stone tablets containing the “Ten Commandments”. These commandments are the most fundamental laws of the Jewish faith. Therefore, Shavuot is also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Law.
About Shavuot in other countriesRead more about Shavuot.
Shavuot ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Wed||May 19||2010||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Jun 8||2011||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 27||2012||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||May 15||2013||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Jun 4||2014||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 24||2015||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Jun 12||2016||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||May 31||2017||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||May 20||2018||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Jun 9||2019||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||May 29||2020||Shavuot||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsShavuot, also known as the Festival of Weeks, is one of three major Jewish festivals.
Shavuot 2017Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Shavuot 2018Sunday, May 20, 2018
Name in other languages
Alternative nameFeast of Weeks
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
Other holidays in May 2017 in the United States
- Law Day – Monday, May 1, 2017
- Yom Ha'atzmaut – Tuesday, May 2, 2017
- Kent State Shootings Remembrance – Thursday, May 4, 2017
- Cinco de Mayo – Friday, May 5, 2017
- National Nurses Day – Saturday, May 6, 2017
- Truman Day – Monday, May 8, 2017
- Confederate Memorial Day – Wednesday, May 10, 2017
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day – Friday, May 12, 2017
- Lag BaOmer – Sunday, May 14, 2017
- Peace Officers Memorial Day – Monday, May 15, 2017
- National Defense Transportation Day – Friday, May 19, 2017
- Armed Forces Day – Saturday, May 20, 2017
- National Maritime Day – Monday, May 22, 2017
- Emergency Medical Services for Children Day – Wednesday, May 24, 2017
- Ascension Day – Thursday, May 25, 2017
- Ramadan starts – Saturday, May 27, 2017
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 29, 2017