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Guest post: My favorite Passover traditions

Today we're featuring a fun find on Daily Grommet -- the ElijahDrinks Kiddush Cup. If you celebrate Passover and have kids or know someone who does, you may want to check it out. And since Passover is just around the corner, we asked Metalia, who writes a great blog by the same name, to share some of her favorite Passover traditions.

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My favorite Passover traditions

by Metalia

Passover has always been one of my favorite family holidays. People are often surprised when I tell them this, since -- as a fairly observant Jew --  it's one of the most restrictive for me. A big part of the holiday is refraining from eating "leavened products," or chametz, which boils down to no bread, no pizza, no pretzels...for OVER A WEEK. Instead, we eat matzah, a crispy sort of flatbread, which-HI, TOTALLY NOT THE SAME THING.

You'd think we'd be all irritable and snappish with each other on account of Severe Pizza Deficiency, but the traditions associated with Passover summon up such nostalgic memories that we're somehow able to get though a mac and cheese-less week without clubbing anyone with a blunt object (that's right-noodles are also out. *sob*). Now that my son is nearing 3, I'm finding myself sharing more and more with him about our family's customs and the histories of our holidays. Passover is a great one, since it's chock full of kid-friendly features. (A barrage of jumping frogs! Golf ball-sized hail! A stubborn king! Pyramids! A...erm, let's skip over the whole "death of the firstborn" plague.) These are a few of my favorites:

Passover kicks off with a literal game of hide-and-seek. The night before Passover begins, we conduct Bedikat Chametz, or "search for the bread products." We (being the parents) put out ten pieces of bread throughout the home, and go from room to room, letting the kids find the pieces and placing them in a bag. There is much giggling as we spot the hidden pieces of bread and gather them up. Once we've gathered them all, we recite a prayer saying we've gotten rid of all the bread products.

The focal point of the holiday is the Seder, a festive meal wherein the story of Passover is told. Passover is very much geared towards the kids, and so, the Seder really revolves around them. The aforementioned plagues get their fair share of discussion, but the showpiece is the "Four Questions," where the youngest kid present (who's able) sings...four questions (I know! Total spoiler, sorry,) about how-among other things -- this Passover night is different from all other nights. I've already started practicing with my toddler, but I'm willing to take bets on whether or not he actually performs.

I've saved my favorite tradition for last -- the afikoman. During the middle of the seder, a piece of matzah is broken in half, and the larger portion (the afikoman) is placed in a small bag (usually a decorated one made by the children). The afikoman is needed to complete the seder, and so, it stands to reason that the children then "steal" the afikoman, and hold it ransom, laughingly requesting a small present before agreeing to return it. It's good-natured fun, and the parents usually have the gifts standing by, having known in advance what was going to be requested.

What are some of your favorite Passover traditions?

Comments

  • superbrendah Says:

    I wish I had read this when I was doing my own passover research! So interesting! I need to come live with you if I keep getting these Jewish holiday assignments.

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