In addition to the major Jewish holidays, the Jewish people also celebrate a variety of minor holidays. These include Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Tu B’Shevat, Shavu’ot and Tisha B’Av. Additionally, there are five minor fasts that are scheduled throughout the year to honor God.
Sukkot is also known as the Festival of Booths. This holiday commemorates the Israelites wandering through the desert in search of the Promised Land. Sukkot occurs on the fifth day of Yom Kippur and lasts for 7 days.
Simchat Torah celebrates the completion of the reading of the Bible during sabbath services. The celebration takes place in an evening and a morning service. During the evening service, the last of Deuteronomy is read. The following morning the first of Genesis is read. At the evening and morning services, sing and dancing are done to celebrate this holiday.
Tu B’Shevat is the Jewish version of Arbor Day. This day is used to calculate the age of certain trees that are used for tithing. Leviticus states that when a tree is planted, its fruits cannot be eaten for the first 3 years. On the fourth year, the fruit is given God as an offering. After the fourth year, the fruit can be eaten by the planter.
Shavu’ot, also known as the Festival of Weeks, commemorates two events- the Festival of First Fruits and the Festival of the Giving of the Torah. During this festival the Book of Ruth is read and a dairy meal is consumed.
Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning that commemorates the numerous tragedies that have happened to the Jewish people. It commemorates the destruction of the first and second temple. During this holiday, the people fast and study the Torah. The book of Lamentations is read and prayers of mourning are recited.
As you can see, there are numerous minor holidays that are celebrated by the Jewish people. These holidays commemorate events where God helped the Jewish people by extraordinary means.