Holidays for Christians to Observe in Honor of Their Hebraic Roots

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The celebration of Passover has become more common among Christians in recent years. This celebration is so beneficial because Passover has many elements that point to our Messiah and highlight the greatness of our God and His love for us!

But did you know other holidays celebrate our God and Savior while honoring the Jewish history of our faith? Some of them are Biblical, and others are traditionally Jewish in our culture but also have implications for us as Gentile believers. 

Adding these significant days to your family’s legacy can bring richness and deeper meaning to your faith and help you pass it on to your children and others. It can even bring you and your family closer to God and Jesus as we learn more about them through observation of these meaningful times.

Here are some that are the most directly connected to the practice of our faith as Christians, especially as it relates to our Jewish roots. 

Purim (פּוּרִים)

Purim is the celebration of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people through Queen Esther. A man named Haman was plotting their destruction, but Esther bravely approached the king and revealed her identity as a Jew to encourage him to save her people. He did and had Haman executed instead. 

As Christians, we’re familiar with persecution and how God orchestrates historical events that affect His people. We can celebrate that Esther was in the place she was because God knew what the need for her to be there would be and made her an instrument for His plan.  

Purim is a fun celebration, with both children and adults dressing as characters from the story and acting it out in dramatic fashion. It is held on the 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to February or March on our Gregorian calendar. 

Passover (פֶסַח- Pesach)

This celebration commemorates God rescuing the Israelites from slavery under the Egyptians. Its relevance to Christians is very basically two-fold. Firstly, since we are also God’s people, we have a part in this history, and secondly, we have been rescued from the slavery of our sin by the blood of Jesus.

Biblically, Passover is to be celebrated on the “fourteenth day of the first month.” On the Hebrew calendar, it starts on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan, which corresponds with our Gregorian calendar as sometime in March or April.

Holocaust Remembrance Day (יוֹם הַשׁוֹאָה – Yom HaShoah)

This somber observance was established in 1953. It’s a national holiday in Israel to remember the Holocaust in Europe during World War II and the murder of over six million Jewish people, including children. This remembrance occurs on the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, during March or April.

Why should Gentile (non-Jew) Christians observe Holocaust Remembrance Day? Romans 1:16 tells us that salvation came first to the Jew and then to the Greek (Rom. 1:16). Christians are the Gentile believers that are “grafted in” to the promises to God’s people described in Romans 11.  

Throughout the Old Testament, God clarifies that the Jewish people are His chosen people. He made a covenant with Abraham concerning their lineage throughout history and brought the Savior to the world through the Jewish line. God also says that He will never abandon the Jewish people.  

If the Jewish people are this important to God and are the roots of the tree we’re grafted into, we must be concerned with their well-being in our day and throughout history. The tragedy that struck as the Holocaust brutally and senselessly extinguished the lives of so many people precious to God (Jews and others) must never be forgotten, and its horrors never repeated.  

Pentecost and Shavuot (שָׁבוּעוֺת)

I combine these two celebrations because they’re similar in meaning and history. Before the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire and inhabited the Apostles in Acts 2, this time was known as Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks.

It was commanded in Leviticus 23 and was a type of harvest festival that was to occur 50 days after the Passover. Also recognized on this date is the gift of God’s Laws being given to His people on Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is what the Apostles were celebrating when they were “gathered” when God’s Spirit was given to them.

They would have realized the significance of the gift of God’s Spirit being given specifically on this day during a celebration of the gift of God’s Word being given as well. It was also foretold by Jesus when he said they’d be baptized by the Spirit in Acts 1:4-5.

It is to take place on the 6th and 7th of the month of Sivan, per the command, which says to observe it 50 days (or 7 Sabbaths and one day) after the Day of Firstfruits during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (when the Passover and Exodus from Egypt occurred).

Rosh Hashanah (רֹאשׁ הַשִּׁנִה)

This holiday is commonly known as the Jewish New Year and is called Yom Teruah in the bible. It was designated the first day of the new year primarily for year-counting purposes, but it’s also one of the commanded Feasts in Leviticus 23. It was a two-day festival where trumpets (shofars) were blown, and sacrifices were performed.

Today, it marks the beginning of the High Holy Days in Autumn. It’s a time when people examine their lives, seek to rid them of their old, sinful ways, and make a change for the better. In this way, it’s a lot like the American New Year, but it’s also a type of Judgment Day or the beginning of a season of judgment for the Jewish people. 

Christians can remember on Rosh Hashanah that we will be judged with Jesus as our substitute. We can also examine our lives and see whether we’re living in a way that expresses the joy of this salvation. The command to blow a trumpet on this day should cause us to look forward to the day when Jesus has returned and the dead are raised (1 Cor. 15:52).  

It occurs on the 1st and 2nd days of the month of Tishrei on the Hebrew calendar. This Feast of Trumpets falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar.  

Day of Atonement (יוֹם כִּיפּוּר – Yom Kippur)

This Holy Day is another of the commanded Feasts in Leviticus 23. It’s observed ten days after Rosh Hashanah and is a day of confession and repentance. Biblically, it was a day when sacrifices were offered for the sins of the people. As Christians, this is a day we can celebrate the mercy we have been given in having our sins fully atoned for by Jesus!

The date is the 10th of Tishrei, which occurs in September or October.

Feast of Tabernacles (סֻכּוֺת- Sukkot)

Another Holy Day from Leviticus 23, Sukkot is a 7-day celebration, five days after the Day of Atonement. Also known as the Feast of Booths, it is a time when people leave the comfort of their homes and live in a temporary shelter.

This celebration serves to appreciate God’s provision for us and to celebrate God being among His people on earth. Christians can be even more thankful at the time of Sukkot for Jesus, who, as God, came down to earth to be with us.

Eighth Day (שְׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת – Shimini Atzeret)

This day is the day just following the last day of Sukkot.  It’s on the 22nd day of Tishrei, which falls in September or October.  It is the final commanded Feast in the List in Leviticus 23. 

It’s a day to remain with God and rest in His provision, even after the previous seven have been focused on Him. This day is more spiritual and considered greater than the 7 of Sukkot. A formal prayer for rain is often said, and it’s said to be a time to store the memories of what God has provided in our hearts.

Simchat Torah (שִׂמְחַת תּוֺרָה)

This celebration is not in the bible but is a great way to thank and praise God for giving us His Word! Held on the 22nd day of Tishrei and is also known as “rejoicing in the Torah.”

Jews and Christians enjoy the immense blessing through the words and commands God Gave us in the Torah (the first five books of the bible) and the rest of His Word. Simchat Torah’s joyful celebration marks the end of the annual Torah reading cycle and the beginning of the new one. When celebrated in a synagogue, there is dancing and singing, and it’s a beautiful time of worship.

Hanukkah (הֲנֻכָּה)

Although not a commanded Holy Day, we see Jesus celebrating it in the book of John. It commemorates the rebuilt temple’s dedication after the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s temple.

The story of Hanukkah is miraculous. The Jewish people were vastly outnumbered as they decided to fight against the destruction of their people and culture and the blasphemy of God. God was with them as they fought, and they were victorious!

Celebrated from the 25th of Kislev to the 2nd or 3rd day of Tevet on the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah falls in late November or December.

Christians can celebrate God’s power displayed in His people and the victory over persecution. We are also interested in this day as we can see Jesus having shown up in Jerusalem for its celebration, translated as the Feast of Dedication. At this time, Jesus said that his sheep would never perish and that no one could snatch them out of his or His Father’s hand.

Here’s a calendar of the dates of these important days. Print out the free PDF version to keep handy in planning for these days.  

It is helpful to have a Jewish calendar to see what holidays are approaching and plan for them. Many are out there, but I like the First Fruits of Zion calendar best!

I hope observing these holidays brings you joy, deepens your Christian faith, and provides yet another way to pass your faith on in your family’s legacy, as they have for my family. I’ll continue to post ways for Christian families to observe these meaningful days on the Hebrew Roots Mom website, so stay tuned!    


I am a Gentile Believer and mother of five wonderful children, blessed with an amazing husband. I love nature, gardening, and travel. If I ever find spare time, I use it for playing the piano, gardening, ballroom dance, or studying Biblical Hebrew. And I will drop pretty much anything to play cards with someone.
My quest for a genuine relationship with the God of the Bible caused me look deeper into His Word to find out how to live, which is how I arrived here, as a Hebrew Roots mom.

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1 Comment

  1. Sheri L Saraceni says:

    What are your thoughts on celebrating Birthdays

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