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Last Updated: Saturday April 23 2005 08:06 GMT

Passover is a time for friends and family

Jewish children preparing Matza, the traditional bread eaten during Passover
Jewish children preparing Matza, the traditional bread eaten during Passover

Passover is one of the most important festivals in the Jewish calendar.

Fourteen-year-old Claire explains what it's about and how she celebrates it.

"From Saturday night until a week on Sunday, Jews everywhere will be celebrating the festival of Passover (Pesach).

The festival is remembering the Jews coming out of Egypt thousands of years ago and how we are now free.

Cracker bread

During the eight days of Passover we are not allowed to eat or drink anything that is made from wheat, barley, rye, oat or spelt.

The typical food we eat is Matzah.

This has the same ingredients as bread but it hasn't risen, it's like a cracker.

Fun time

On the first and second night we have a Seder.

This is when all family and friends come together and tell the story of the Ten Plagues God set upon Egypt when Pharaoh would not let the Jews go.

We try and relive the story, the Seder is supposed to be a fun time and every family have their own traditions to enlighten the Seder.

On the table during the Seder, there is a Seder plate which has on it:

  • Morror - bitter herbs

  • Z'roah - a roasted chicken neck or lamb shank

  • Charoset - a mixture of chopped apples, pears, walnuts and a small amount of wine (red, if possible)

  • Chahzeret - more bitter herbs

  • Karpas - a cooked potato or raw onion

  • Baytzah - a hard boiled egg

Everything on the Plate represents something like the suffering of the Jews in Egypt, Mortar used by the Jews, and festival sacrifices.

To me Passover means a time with friends and family and remembering how we were once enslaved but by the miracles of God we were freed."

Claire, 14, Manchester


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