Top Tips If You Have Been Invited to A Jewish Passover Seder
The Jewish festival of Passover is a spring time festival. A week long festival, it is marked by the abstinence of “chametz” leavened foods. The first two nights (or first night, in Israel) are called the Seder nights. Seder literally means order. On this night family and friends will gather to celebrate freedom and tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The service is read from a book called the Hagadah. Hagadah literally means the telling. The evening is full of symbolism and a festive meal is served.
So what do you as a visitor need to know, and what gifts are appropriate to bring.
You will notice that there is a large plate on the table full of symbolic foods. This is called the seder plate. Do not nibble from it. Each of the six symbolic food on the plate have a meaning and significance and will be eaten or remarked upon during the seder.
There will be small glasses of wine on the table, These are part of the order of the evening and should be drunk at a particular time.
There is a fixed order to the evening, you will be told what to do and when, so no need to worry about what you should or should not do.
Celebrants of the seder usually dress up for the occasion. Come dressed as if you were going to a special restaurant for a meal.
As with any meal or event you are invited to, you will probably wish to give a gift. Depending on the level of observance of the family, special food may only be eaten for the whole week of Passover. To be safe it is probably best to avoid giving any foods, unless they have a special kosher for Passover stamp. Kosher for Pesach foods can be bought from Kosher shops and will have an up to date seal stating that it is kosher for Passover 2014 So what is a good gift?
Good gifts to give include flowers and homeware gifts. Homeware gifts as very popular as the festival of Passover is a very social week. Lots of festive meals are eaten and tableware gifts would be very appropriate.
There are a number of Jewish gifts that are very suitable for the festival. Matzah plates, matzah covers and seder plate are very popular Judaica gifts to give for the festival. They come in a variety of styles, so try and choose something that suits the style of your hosts home. There are home and tableware gifts with Passover motifs. These too would be perfect hostess gifts.