Jews around the world celebrate Shavuot in honor of one of the most important events in history – the Sinai Revelation, during which God gave the Jews the Torah and the Ten Commandments, which became the moral and ethical foundation of all human civilization. It happened about 2500 years ago.
In Hebrew, the word “Shavuot” means “weeks” – seven weeks, the countdown of which begins on the second day of Passover. After 7 weeks, on the 50th day after the exodus from Egypt, the Jews approached Mount Sinai and received the Tablets of the Law with the Ten Commandments. Like many other Jewish holidays, Shavuot marks not only a certain historical event, but also the beginning of the new season of the year, the end of the next agricultural cycle. In ancient times, Shavuot was celebrated at the beginning of the harvest season. It is one of the Three Main Pilgrimage Festivals (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). On this day, the second offering of wheat of a new harvest was made in the Temple in Jerusalem. Two loaves were baked from fresh flour and carried to the Temple. Another victim was the best first fruit.
By tradition, a festive meal in Shavuot necessarily includes dairy and flour foods: cheese, sour cream, pancakes, pies, cakes and gingerbread cookies. This custom starts from the day the Torah was given. Returning to the camp from Mount Sinai, the Jews consumed dairy food, because the laws on kosher meat and on the separation of meat and milk were still difficult and unusual for them.
During the celebration, a house and a synagogue are decorated with tree branches reminiscent of the greenery that grew around Mount Sinai in the era of the giving of the Torah. In some Jewish communities in Israel on the day of Shavuot, it is customary to pour water on each other – it is believed that this ritual protects from trouble. Among the customs of this holiday - putting on white clothes.