Some Jewish people gather with family and friends to celebrate Tu B´Shevat by serving a seder (holiday meal) of dried fruit and nuts, red wine and grape juice. Pickled etog, a type of citrus, is often a featured dish at these festivities.
Other Jewish people celebrate by planting trees or joining in on efforts to raise environmental awareness. To many, it is considered the Jewish equivalent of Arbor Day.
In recent years,Tu B'Shevat has come to be primarily an environmental holiday. Many Jews use this day as an opportunity to remind themselves of their scriptural duty to care to be good stewards for God's creation, or the natural world.
Many Jews honor the day by taking part in a tree-planting ceremony, or collecting and sending money to Israel for tree planting efforts there.
Others celebrate by picking fruits and vegetables at farms, starting herb gardens, building birdhouses, or organizing beach and park clean-up activities.
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.
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.