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Sukkot


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Sukkot is one of the three harvest festivals in the Jewish tradition (Passover and Shavuot being the other two). Sukkot is a weeklong festival, which begins on the 15th day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. On the Western Calendar for 2011, this is October 13.

Sukkot commemorates the 40 years that the ancient Jews were wandering the wilderness, living in temporary homes. In the memory of that time, today's Jews build temporary structures called sukkot, which resemble booths. Sukkot actually means "booths" in English. Many Jews eat their meals in the sukkah (which is the singular form of sukkot); others live there during the weeklong festival.

A sukkah is usually made of wood. The roof sometimes contains bamboo reeds or corn stalks. Children's drawings often hang on the wall, along with dried squash and corn.

The first two days of Sukkot are meant to be reflective, and Jews usually do not work on these days.

Sukkot is also a harvest festival, traditionally celebrated to mark the end of the harvest for grapes, olives, and fruit. The sukkah is also symbolic of the temporary buildings in which ancient farmers would live during harvest season.

During this weeklong celebration, Jewish people read special scriptures and visit the sukkot of their friends and neighbors. Special meals are also associated with this time.

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