Biblical Feast Days and significant dates: FREE Printable!

Rethinking holidays and the resistance we got from pastoral colleagues

When our children were born (they are close in age), my husband and I started really thinking about the Biblical feast days. We thought through the types of holidays and traditions we would want them to grow up with. We were familiar with the Jewish holidays and had participated in Passover seders and church-sponsored Feast of Tabernacles events, but we still celebrated Christmas and Easter. We were good about keeping the celebrations as focused on the LORD as possible – never incorporating santa claus or Easter eggs, but we definitely enjoyed the Christmas Eve candlelight services and the Easter sunrise services. We are both pastors, so of course we loved these events! We were trained to lead them!

Sometimes we were met with resistance from our colleagues. They wondered why we always refused to host Easter egg hunts. Pastors in the community would invite us to host joint activities of this type and we would never participate. Many would ask questions like, “Why would you turn down an opportunity to get extra visitors into your church?” They’d move from questioning us to judging us: “This is a great church growth model, and you are not taking advantage of it.” Sorry, but we have always cared much more about Truth than numbers. And we’ve been blessed because of it.

Sadly, when we tried to share what we knew about the Biblical Feast Days, most of our pastoral colleagues made it clear they’d rather just keep the status quo. Today, few church leaders want to embrace anything that might mess with the Sunday morning offerings.

So, we decided to be different. And it has been an awesome adventure!

Biblical Feast Dates
Biblical Feast Dates: Free Printable available!

Choosing to celebrate Biblical feasts rather than Christmas/Easter

Colored eggs inspired by the Ishtar or Eostre’s fertility cults never seemed to make sense to us as a positive testimony of the Resurrection victory of our Savior. (For consistency, let me inform you we do not use the boiled egg on our seder plate as is also customary in Jewish tradition). If the Messiah, the Son of God, rose from the dead in victory, is that not enough of a powerful message? Why do we need the help of rabbits to tell the Good News in a compelling way? The Resurrection really doesn’t need embellishment.

Similarly, “everybody” knows that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25. So why continue to perpetuate this day as Jesus’ birthday? Instead of giving the world ammunition to accuse Christians of being delusional and embracing idolatry, why not learn how Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) birth fits into the holy-days given by God Himself? Christmas trees have nothing to do with a baby in a manger. Bunnies don’t lay eggs nor do they rise from the dead. My question has become a simple one: Why, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, why do you participate in these traditions?

We decided that our children should be raised with the holidays given to us by the LORD and described in detail in the Bible. We began to realize there are so many of them that they wouldn’t be missing out on anything! The LORD has given us so many wonderful feast days that help us see His handiwork in our lives throughout the year.

Christian testimony would be stronger without some of these traditions

2022 list of Biblical Feast Days, traditional Jewish holidays and other dates of interest for the year

Here is a list of the Biblical holidays, traditional Jewish holidays, and other notable dates for 2022. The appointed times described in Leviticus 23 have exact specifications as to their dates so some people attempt to more closely align the dates using lunar calculations. I respect this attempt since the Gregorian calendar does not perfectly match, but our family uses the commonly accepted dates of the Jewish calendar.

Each of them has major significance to any believer who recognizes that they are part of Israel. The appointed times (moedim) are, of course, set feasts that our LORD established as “appointments” with us. He wants us to gather, to assemble, and He wants to meet with us and celebrate with us! He wants us to understand the fullness of the salvation reality – that our Passover Lamb has come, has been sacrificed, and has been raised again as the Firstfruits of the Resurrection harvest!

Some believers choose not to celebrate Purim or Hanukkah. I find there is great value in both, and will write about that another time. Similarly, one might wonder if you are not living in Israel, why care about Yom HaShoah or Israel’s independence day? But remember, whether you were born ethnically Jewish or have been grafted into the community of Israel, Israel’s victories are your victories, just as Israel’s sorrows are our collective sorrows. We weep with those who weep and we rejoice with those who rejoice.

2022 Biblical feast days

Dates for your calendar

Here is a listing of the Biblical feast days. If you would like a FREE downloadable PDF, subscribe to our newsletter, and you will receive it straight to your inbox!

March 16 Purim

April 15 Passover/Pesach

April 16-23 Unleavened Bread

April 17 Firstfruits/Yom HaBikkurim/Resurrection

April 27 Holocaust Remembrance Day/Yom HaShoah

May 3 Israeli Memorial Day/Yom HaZikaron

May 4 Israel’s Independence Day

May 28 Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim)

June 4 Shavu’ot

September 25 Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShanah

October 4 Yom Kippur

October 9-16 Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot

December 18-26 Hanukkah

May your year be most especially blessed!

If you are new to celebrating the Biblical feast days and need some help or encouragement, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It can be a lot of information to take in when you are new to it all! We’d be happy to guide you or give you some pointers! Shalom!

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How our family celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles

I love Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) because it gets us outside and is a genuine change in our routine. This year, the boys built a fire pit so the whole family can stay warm during the chilly evenings and, of course, make Sukkot S’mores.

Be sure to include your children in every aspect of the preparation and actual celebration. Not only do they love to be included, this will train them to continue keeping the feast with simcha (joy) as they grow up and have their own family. Our children love to build and decorate the Sukkah with lights and branches and art projects. The Feast of Tabernacles is something they look forward to every year!

Hachnasat or’chim: Welcoming Guests

If you have friends or family who have never celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, there are so many wonderful (and simple) ways to introduce them to the Biblical feasts by living this out – invite them for a special dinner in your sukkah and have a campfire together. Practice the art of hospitality; you will be blessed as you bless others. Remember, Yeshua (Jesus) loved to eat and drink with His disciples, and even with those the world shunned as “sinners” and “outcasts.” May your tent always be open to the stranger.

The Feast of Tabernacles is intended (indeed, commanded!) to be a joyous celebration – for everyone! – so make it so! Be enthusiastic!

You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

Deuteronomy 16:14-15, TLV, emphases added

Over the years, we have been able to share the richness of Sukkot with so many visitors to our sukkah and it is always a blessing.

Theme Nights and Activities for children, teens, and tweens

I mentioned above that it is important to include your children in ways that make it fun for them.

Some years, we have made edible sukkahs with graham crackers and candies, just like gingerbread houses but way cooler. Hint: get some animal crackers that come with camels. Those are a huge hit with the little ones to put in the “front yard” of your snack.

Check out this Selfie Scavenger Hunt for Sukkot that I put together this year for tweens and teens. They will love the opportunity to use a cell phone and they might learn a thing or two while having fun. Post your selfies on our Facebook page for extra fun!

Sukkot Selfie Scavenger Hunt
Selfie Scavenger Hunt for Sukkot

Many Chabad groups advertise “Pizza in the Hut” nights, which we have adopted as a yearly family tradition. What child will object to pizza?!

If the weather permits and you are up for it, camp out in the sukkah for a night, or the whole week. Kids love sleepover parties. If they’re going to stay up all night, at least this is for a great reason!

Again, if the weather permits, have a cook out! Fire up the grill!

If you do happen to invite guests, have your children prepare something for your visitors. Perhaps an appetizer, or a placemat, or the child could be the host for the evening. They will learn the importance of welcoming guests and practice their social skills.

If you invite many guests or are hosting a sukkah with a congregational group, you could set up various stations. Make caramel apples at one table, paper chains at another table, some edible sukkahs at another, and even a games table.

What are your favorite aspects of celebrating Sukkot? Do you have any other theme night or activity ideas that you do with your family? Leave a comment below!

Menu ideas for Sukkot

Here in the north, planning for Sukkot requires consideration of the temperatures, especially when Sukkot is in October. This year, Sukkot starts in September, so we may not be such Frozen Chosen this year. Even so, the evenings are definitely crisp, so soups and stews are some of the best foods to serve during the feast. I recommend planning at least a week in advance so you don’t need to worry about your menu items during the feast. The best advice I can give is: keep it simple. Have a tray so you can easily transport food from your indoor kitchen to the backyard and vice versa.

I always make sure we have plenty of fresh apple cider. It’s versatile since it can be served warm or cold and is the perfect autumn beverage. Besides apple cider, we always have coffee, hot chocolate, and tea on hand.

If you keep Shabbat, chances are good you own a slow cooker. Make your favorite taco meat and assemble some tacos. An easy-to-transport meal when its ready.

You can make a charcuterie platter with some cheese, crackers, and hummus.

This year I am planning to try this recipe by Tori Avey for a healthy curried vegetable stew.

I will probably not have time to make these, but this dessert recipe for Sukkot Lemon “Etrog” Cupcakes from 18 Doors looks scrumptious and so very festive!

Emphasizing Righteousness and Holiness

All the fun aside, the real reason any of us are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles is because we take the Bible seriously. The appointed times outlined in Scripture really are like “appointments” with our Heavenly Father. We meet with Him, and He meets with us and we are grateful because in the original tabernacle, there was a veil of separation that has now been torn apart.

Let your Light shine during the Feast of Tabernacles and say “no” to trunk-or-treat nights

One thing I have found troubling among traditional “Christian church” ministry groups is that most of them now host “Fall Festivals,” “Trunk-or-treat” nights, and other “Harvest” activities. These autumn outreach events do not have anything to do with the Feast of Tabernacles or any aspect of the Bible for that matter, yet plenty of time, money, and effort is put into them. Attempts to justify the events always circle back to “evangelism.”

Let your Light shine during the Feast of Tabernacles

We do not need to imitate paganism.

It is as if these churches balk at Scripture (many unintentionally, I know). Sadly, rather than being unique and set apart from the world, they are in many ways adapting to the world. With Sukkot often being in October, the very best alternative to the satanic feast of halloween is to light up the week of Sukkot in your sukkah and pray for your neighborhood. Shine your light during God’s appointed times and do not participate with the devil’s feast. The Eternal One’s light will always shine brighter – Yeshua isn’t in a competition. He already won.

Some argue that “trunk or treat” is just a fun time for children to dress in costumes. If you want your children to dress up, why not simply abandon the devil and his evil imitations and allow them to dress up for a much better celebration during Purim? Our children do not feel they are “missing out” on halloween. They know they will get to dress up and get plenty of candy during Purim in the springtime. They, too, have no desire to associate with the darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:14: . . . . What fellowship does light have with darkness? 

The best opportunity you will have to evangelize is to live out the Bible. The opportunities to share the Good News of our Messiah will be plentiful.

How will you celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles this year? Where will you be? I hope to celebrate some day in Israel! Leave a comment, share, and/or subscribe! We’d love to hear from you! Chag Sukkot sameach!

Yom Teruah: the day of the shout! AND: Rosh Hashanah Brisket Recipe!

Yom Teruah is the day of the shout! The day to sound the shofars and remember that with a shout, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah will return for His people! It is the more “Biblical” term for what is more widely known as “Rosh Hashanah,” which means “Head of the year.” We celebrate a new year and we await Messiah’s return.

Psalm 65:11, NKJV

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed—
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last shofar.
For the shofar will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52, TLV

I love to be able to share these Biblical feast days with my family, especially our children.

They love to sound the shofar and they eagerly pour honey on the apples they have freshly picked from our apple tree. Tonight, we will begin our celebration with a traditional brisket dinner.

It is common to serve a brisket on Rosh Hashanah

Are you looking for an easy, delicious brisket recipe? Look no further! I have combined several recipes that have circulated recently and I think this is a real winner:

How will you celebrate this special day? Post your Rosh Hashanah pictures on our Facebook page!

Above all, may your year be sweet and the LORD be honored! Maranatha!

Shalom, mishpocha.