- Holidays and Celebrations»
- Jewish Holidays
Happy Passover - History, Recipes and Gift Ideas
It's Passover! Time to read haggadah, enjoy a warm seder and have a joyous time ahead
Pesach or Passover day is one of the most popular Jewish holidays. It is the foremost of the three most important festivals of Jews, and has major historical and agricultural importance. Pesach symbolizes the initiation of the harvest season in Israel. Nevertheless, the main reason mentioned for its celebration is actually related to the Exodus of Hebrew slaves from Egypt after years of generations of slavery.
The holiday is celebrated for a span of eight days and Seder is celebrated on the first two nights. The Fast of the Firstborn is celebrated one day before the Pesach, which is in fact a minor fast taken by all the firstborn males to mark the significance of firstborns of Israelites being saved during the slaying in Egypt.
History of passover:
'Pesach' in Hebrew stands for 'Passing over' and it refers to the fact
that God actually 'passed over' the houses of the Jews while smiting
the Egypt with the tenth plague. Therefore, the festival has been named
as 'Pesach' or 'Passover'. Christians also celebrate the 'Passover'day
when the Jesus was sacrificed with a point that Jesus was the
sacrificial lamb of God , which could relieve all the mankind from the
slavery of sins.
The name 'Pesach' is also said to have been taken up from the fact that it was the name of the sacrificial lamb that was made in the Temple on this holiday before Exodus. The holiday has many other names too which are as mentioned below:
1) 'Chag he-Aviv', which stands for'the Spring Festival'
2) 'Chag ha-Matzoth', which stands for 'the Festival of Matzahs'
3) 'Z'man Cherutenu', which stands for 'the Time of Our Freedom'.
Passover is a happy time celebrated with the family gatherings and felicity for Jews as it symbolizes that they are now free and can lead lives on their own terms.
Following are some wonderful Passover recipes, which you can try. They are easy and extremely simple to make:
Matzoh Balls( For Serving 16 matzoh balls)
* 4 - Eggs
* ¼ cup - Oil
* 1 tablespoon - Fresh Parsley (minced)
* 1 - Small Carrot (minced)
* 1 cup - Matzoh Meal
* ¼ cup - Chicken Stock
* 1 ½ teaspoon - Salt
* Pepper to taste
* 1 - Chicken Bouillon Cube
* 2 teaspoon - Salt
* 8 cups - Cold Water
* Beat the eggs and chicken stock together until the mix becomes frothy.
* Add parsley, carrot to it.
* Add salt and pepper to taste and mix it thoroghly.
* Slowly stir in matzoh meal and some oil.
* Cover the contents of the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour to thicken it.
* Boil some water, boullion and salt.
* Reduce the heat and let it simmer.
* Now using wet hands, make small golf sized balls of the refrigerated and thickened matzoh mixture.
* Put the balls in the pot with the boiling water.
* Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 1 hour.
* Take the balls out carefully with spoon.
* Transfer the balls to hot chicken soup and let them simmer again for another 5 minutes before serving.
Passover Chocolate Mandelbrot
* 6 Eggs
* 2-3/4 cups Matzo Cake Meal
* 2 cups White Sugar
* 2 tsp White Sugar
* 3/4 cup Potato Starch
* 2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
* 1 cup Pareve Margarine
* 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
* 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp Salt
* In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups sugar and margarine, until the mix gets smooth.
* Slowly add eggs into the mixture, one at a time, and mix them well after every addition.
* Now, take a different bowl and place the matzo cake meal, potato starch and salt in it. Mix them well.
* Mix the the above two mixtures together and add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips to it. The mixture will now become quite heavy, thick and sticky.
* Apportion the mixture into 2-inch bars and flatten them out, to around 1/2" thickness.
* Now, grease a large cookie sheet and place the flatten mixture on it.
* Mix 2 tea spoons of sugar with cinnamon powder and sprinkle on the flattened bars.
* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
* Place the sheet in oven and let it bake for 50-55 min.
* Take out the Chocolate Mandelbrot from the oven, let it cool and serve it.
Passover Gift Ideas
Passover is celebrated with family get-togethers and friends. Hence, it has become a regular practice to carry passover gifts to the Seder feasts.
- The conventional gifts that can work well here can be the boxes of fruits and sweets.
- Wines can also work as excellent gift for Seder rituals.
- If you are too confused about any gifting ideas, then Passover flowers can be the first and perfect choice for you.
- Since the day is celebrated with food and drinks, you can also go ahead in gifting beautiful wine glasses, silverware and other dishware to your hosts.
On the Passover day, only Matzah foods are allowed, so it could be prudent if you can carry chocolate covered Matzah foods or crackers. Kosher food and drinks can also work well for your near and dear ones.
Books and articles on Seder plates and of Haggadah can also work as great gifts to signify the religious significance of Passover.
If you are too busy to wish your loved ones, on this wonderful festival, you can still go ahead in sending a warm e-card or e-mail to wish them on this special day. May blessings, good will and happiness stay in your life forever. Happy Passover!