Pesach is for Jews an important holiday celebrating freedom and it commences on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (March-April). It lasts seven days in Israel and eight days in the diaspora. Preparations for the holiday start many days earlier and are associated with the necessity to „kosher” the entire household, especially the kitchen and larder. Apart from principles of kosherness, which always apply, additionally during this time it is not allowed to eat or even have sour products and those where fermentation takes place.
The supper, which is eaten together with all members of the family, is called Seder. During this meal people read Haggadah, a narrative of the exodus of Jews from Egypt, of the ten plaques of Egypt associated with it and miracles performed by Moses.
The Seder table is covered with the best cloth; also, a special crockery is used — plates and cutlery used only for this occasion. Traditional dishes include: a bone-in leg of lamb (symbolizing the sacrificial offering of the Paschal Lamb), roast eggs sprinkled with ash (as a symbol of shared fate of the nation and the power to survive), bitter herbs (symbolizing the taste of tears of the Jews in slavery in Egypt) and a salad made of grated apples, crushed almonds, nuts and wine (it should look similarly to clay from which Jewish slaves made bricks). The only bread that can be eaten during this time is matza, which is a kind of flat bread made of flour and water. In the middle of the table there should be a big chalice for Prophet Elias, who is considered to be the spiritual Father of the Israelites.
The Seder evening includes also many other customs and traditions, for example children try to steal the last piece of matza (afikoman) so as to be later able to trade it for presents.
We would like to inform you that on 15th April the Jewish Historical Institute will be closed due to the holiday of Pesach.