Hollidays & Feasts in Jerusalem
Home to a mix of cultures, all three of the monotheistic religions as well as a secular contingent, Jerusalem’s annual calendar is rich in diverse, festive and colorful holidays and festivals. This article provides you with an overview and backdrop to most of the major holidays and festivals you can expect to experience in Jerusalem.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most important holiday in Judaism. It is a day of fasting and prayer that is celebrated on the 10th of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, 10 days after Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year.
Yom Kippur marks the end of the “Ten Days of Repentance,” or the “High Holidays,” and grants Jews a last opportunity to obtain forgiveness and absolution for their sins in the previous year. According to Jewish belief, on Yom Kippur judgment is passed on each person for the coming year. In order to be worthy of forgiveness from sins, this day is devoted to spiritual repentance and a commitment to start the new year with a clean conscience, secure in the knowledge that God forgives every person who truly regrets his misdeeds.
Even though this is the seventh day of every week (counting from Sunday), and there are over 50 such days each year, Shabbat is a holy day - and even one of the most important holy days in Judaism. In fact, apart from the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur,) Shabbat is the holiest day for Jews, and is the only one mentioned in the Ten Commandments.