Traditions, Tips and Trends

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Shavuot is often referred to as the “Festivals of the First Fruits.” That’s because, in addition to marking the time Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai, Shavuot celebrates the first harvests of spring. For more on Shavuot, its customs, and ways to celebrate this verdant holiday, read on:

The Dish on the Dairy Tradition

Tradition calls for us to eat at least one dairy meal on Shavuot. This custom serves as a reminder that Jews were not yet familiar with the laws regarding meat preparation when they received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Eating meals that feature dairy, fruits and vegetables is also a way to celebrate the harvest on Shavuot.

Two delectable dairy dishes to try are Noodle Pudding and Spinach and Bow Ties. Cheesecakes and Blintzes are also favorites on Shavuot.

The Meaning of All the Greens

On Shavuot, it’s also customary to decorate our homes with flowers and greenery. The story goes that Mount Sinai, typically a barren dessert, burst into blooms when Moses received the Torah. This tradition also pays homage to the harvest and is a welcome herald of the splendors of springtime.


Shavouth Shopping List

  • Candles
  • Challah (or ingredients to make own, such as yeast, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, salt, flour)
  • Grape juice and/or wine
  • Gefilte fish
  • Horseradish
  • Salad and salad dressing
  • Ingredients for first course, such as soup
  • Ingredients for main course
  • Ingredients for side dishes such as rice or pilaf
  • Ingredients for dessert, such as blintzes
  • Condiments
  • Cooking spray
  • Tea and coffee
  • Flowers or other supplies for centerpiece