Passover, also called Pesach (/ˈpɛsɑːx, ˈp-/;[2] Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesaḥ), is a major Jewish holiday that occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month of Aviv, or spring. The word Pesach or Passover can also refer to the Korban Pesach, the paschal lamb that was offered when the Temple in Jerusalem stood, to the Passover Seder, the ritual meal on Passover night, or to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. One of the biblically ordained Three Pilgrimage Festivals, Passover is traditionally celebrated in the Land of Israel for seven days and for eight days among many Jews in the Diaspora, based on the concept of yom tov sheni shel galuyot.

A table set up for a Passover Seder
Official namePesachפסח (in Hebrew).
Observed byJews
TypeJewish (religious and cultural)
SignificanceCelebrates The Exodus, the freedom from slavery of the Israelites from Ancient Egypt that followed the Ten Plagues.
Beginning of the 49 days of Counting of the Omer
Connected to barley harvest in spring.
CelebrationsPassover Seder
Begins15 Nisan
Ends21 Nisan (22 Nisan in traditional Diaspora communities)
Date15 Nisan, 16 Nisan, 17 Nisan, 18 Nisan, 19 Nisan, 20 Nisan, 21 Nisan, 22 Nisan
2020 dateSunset, 8 April –
nightfall, 16 April[1] (8 days)
2021 dateSunset, 27 March –
nightfall, 4 April[1] (8 days)
2022 dateSunset, 15 April –
nightfall, 23 April[1] (8 days)
2023 dateSunset, 5 April –
nightfall, 13 April[1] (8 days)
Related toShavuot ("Festival of Weeks") which follows 49 days from the second night of Passover.

As recounted in the Book of Exodus, God commands Moses to tell the Israelites to mark a lamb's blood above their doors in order that the Angel of Death will pass over them (i.e., that they will not be touched by the death of the firstborn). Pharaoh orders the Israelites to leave, taking whatever they want, and asks Moses to bless him in the name of the Lord. The passage goes on to state that the passover sacrifice recalls the time when the LORD "passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt".[3] This story is recounted at the passover meal in the form of the Haggadah, in fulfillment of the command "And thou shalt tell (Higgadata) thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8)

The wave offering of barley was offered at Jerusalem on the second day of the festival. The counting of the sheaves is still practiced, for seven weeks until the Feast of Weeks on the 50th day, the Pentecost.

Nowadays, in addition to the biblical prohibition of owning leavened foods for the duration of the holiday, the Passover Seder is one of the most widely observed rituals in Judaism.