We got our head of commercial to explain to our engagement editor what Passover was all about for Jewish people in South Africa and the results were hilarious.
For a real guide, read on.
This time of year isn't just about Easter eggs or even the crucifixion. Before Jesus there was the events in the Old Testament surrounding the Israelite's flight from Egypt, which is commemorated today in Passover.
You may remember the background to what "passover" from the animated movie "The Prince Of Egypt".
Today, millennia later, many Jewish people remember this moment with a series of celebrations and rituals. As The Independent explains:
To commence a week of complex dietary restrictions, family and friends gather for the Seder meal served on a special ceremonial dish. The dinner includes a lamb bone, a roasted egg, a green vegetable to dip in salt water, bitter herbs made from horseradish and a paste made of chopped apples, walnuts and wine called Charoset.
At the start of the dinner, three Matzot are laid on top of each other and the middle Matzah is broken and the largest piece is hidden. Adults then hide this piece. The children then hunt to find the bread, and the winner receives a prize.
The meal is accompanied by four small glasses of wines symbolising joy, happiness and the freedom of the Israelites. One glass is left by an open door to welcome the prophet Elijah, who Jewish people believe will return to announce the coming of the Messiah at the end of Passover.
As the evening winds on, friends and family lean on cushions – a reminder that they are no longer enslaved – and take turns to read and listen to the story of how the Israelites fled from Egypt from a book called the Haggadah, meaning narration.
Read the rest of the explanation here.
Ahead of Easter 2017, The Huffington Post South Africa is delving into what faith and spirituality means to South Africans here and now. Against the backdrop of a renewed wave of thought around decolonisation, a new generation are rediscovering their traditional beliefs, while some are reconciling with Christianity. And on another note, we tell South Africa's real good news story: our remarkable and peaceful religious diversity. In a world fractured along religious extremism, we have a large Christian population with significant Muslim and Jewish communities, who often come together peacefully and with purpose, as has been evinced at the memorials for departed struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada. Read the rest of the special report here, or choose from our selection below:
- Decolonising Faith: Here's How Some Africans Are Rediscovering Their Ancestors And Spirituality
- Sipho Hlongwane: I Was Taught Not To Remember My Grandfather. This Is Why I Do.
- South Africa's Untold Success Story: A Christian's Nation's Peaceful History With A Muslim Minority
- It's Nearly Easter: Here's What You Need to Know In The Run Up