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This time of year is my favorite time period and Holy Days Observed. I love Easter. As a foodie, and one who loves to cook. This time of year means delicious eats with family and friends as well. So, much to my glee when I came across this article from Elissa Welle of the Detroit Press (www.freep.com), which really simplified the food traditions side of the Holy Days Observed.

From Matzah to ham to dates, this weekend will showcase a variety of different foods as people across the world celebrate holidays of the main Abrahamic religions.  

Jewish Passover begun at sundown Friday, April 15th, 2022. Two days later, Christians celebrate Easter Sunday. Both major holidays occur during Islam’s Holy Month of Ramadan, which began April 1.

Each celebration carries its own history, traditions and cuisine.

Ramadan is one of the five main pillars of the Islam faith. It commemorates the first revelation of Islam’s founder and main prophet, Muhammad, and is meant as a time of reflection and prayer. Muslims fast between sunrise and sundown for 30 days, or from one crescent moon sighting to the next.

Typically, each day of fasting begins with a predawn meal, suhur, and ends after sunset with a date and glass of water. Then, the post-sunset meal, iftar, is eaten together with family or the broader Muslim community.

Ramadan ends on either May 1 or 2, when a crescent new moon is sighted. If no moon is sighted on May 1, then May 2 will be the last day of fasting. Muslims follow the end of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, a holiday full of feasting and merriment.

More:What is Ramadan and why do Muslims fast all day?
Passover is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the ancient Hebrews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. The holiday specifically commemorates the saving of Hebrew firstborn sons during the 10th plague sent by God to the Egyptians to convince the pharaoh to free the Hebrews from slavery. While the Angel of Death killed the firstborn Egyptian sons, Hebrew doors were marked with lamb’s blood and passed over.
More:Understanding Passover Seder traditions

The holiday lasts seven days in Israel and eight days elsewhere. It begins with a ritual meal, the Passover Seder, meaning the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Occurring on the first or second night of Passover, the meal gathers family and members of the Jewish community for remembrance and reflection. Matzo, a flatbread, is eaten during Passover to abide by the command to not eat leavened bread. 

More:5 great Passover recipes for Seder: Side dishes, dessert, Matzo Balls
This year, most Christians celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 17. On this day, followers remember the resurrection, or return from the dead, of God’s son, Jesus, after he was killed by crucifixion the prior Friday. This celebration culminates the 40 days of Lent, and often includes a church service followed by a family meal. Traditional Easter meals center on ham, in stark contrast to Islamic and Jewish menus that exclude pork. Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter, called Pascha, on April 24.
Popular traditions in the U.S. include an Easter bunny, basket and eggs. The folkloric figure of the Easter bunny is depicted as bringing eggs to children in a basket. The eggs are often chocolate or candy. In another tradition, colorful plastic eggs are hidden around a field or room for children to find. A small treat may be hidden inside the egg.

Whichever you may observe, may you have a blessed time. May enjoy wonderful traditions and great food.

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