Lag Ba’omer is a festival day with celebrations beginning on May 18th and seen during the May 19th holiday.
Known for bonfires, weddings and dances, the Jewish holiday usually occurs a month after Passover.
With nearly 300,000 Jews in the UK, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming festival.
What is Lag Ba’Omer and when is it celebrated?
Lag Ba’Omer, also known as Lag B’Omer, is celebrated on the 18th day of the second month of the Jewish calendar, Iyar, and occurs on the 33rd day of a period of mourning called the Count of the Omer, which spans 49 days between Passover and showvot.
Passover ended after two days on April 23rd and Showvot begins on June 4th.
Omer is considered a time of semi-mourning, but Lag Ba’Omer is the one day to celebrate.
The word Lag is composed of the Hebrew letters lamed and gimel, which together have the numerical meaning of 33, while B’Omer translates as “of the Omer.”
Lag Ba’Omer carries the theme of love and mutual respect, with celebrations beginning at sundown tonight ahead of the holiday, which ends at dusk on May 19th.
How is Lag Ba’Omer celebrated?
In addition to the celebrations, the Jewish communities organize a wide range of events, including traditional Lag Ba’Omer parades, barbecues, bonfires or artistic activities for the children.
It’s common to spend the day outside playing with a bow and arrow while enjoying the world’s natural beauty. Traditional foods include carob and eggs.
Since Omer’s mourning practices are suspended for Lag Ba’Omer, celebrations often include music, song and dance, as well as weddings being permitted to take place on the day.
Boys who turned three during the Omer period can have their first haircut according to the mourning laws, with many going to Meron in northern Israel – the resting place of the great sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
Why is Lag Ba’Omer celebrated?
Each Lag Ba’Omer celebrates two historical events.
Jews traditionally remember Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochi, the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah, when on the day of his death he instructed the disciples to mark the date as “the day of my joy.”
Lag Ba’Omer also commemorates Rabbi Shimon bar Yochi’s teacher Rabbi Akiva – during the period between Passover and Shavuot, a great plague raged between the disciples due to their disrespect for one another, but on the 33rd day of the Omer count, the deaths ceased.
What do you think of Lag Ba’Omer?
There are several wishes, greetings and messages that can be used on Lag Ba’Omer to guide the festival and celebrations.
Some of these include “Fill the world with your light” and “Let Lag Ba’Omer bring happiness to our people for many years to come”, while others refer to the historical roots of the holiday.
https://www.nationalworld.com/culture/lag-baomer-when-jewish-holiday-how-celebrated-why-3699872 Lag Ba’omer: When is the 2022 festival and how will it be celebrated?