Sukkot is the week of a joyful Jewish festival. Its name refers to the sukkah, a temporary hut made of turf and grass, where Jews spend seven days celebrating the shelter that their people got from God during the journey in the desert.
The Sukkot holiday is dual by its meaning. According to Torah and Hebrew history it is the autumn festival to celebrate the harvest, but it’s also the reminiscence of the Exodus and 40 years of travel across the desert. Today, young and old generations happily get together every year for a week of fun and food to embody the experience of their ancestors.
The information about Sukkot as the calendar holiday of harvest can be traced back to pre-biblical times when ancient Hebrew communities got together to thank God for the good crops. After the Exodus, it also took on the national symbolism of the 40-year travel of Jewish people across the desert. One of the biggest Jewish holidays, it’s also one of the three pilgrimage occasions in Judaism.
Through the centuries, the Jewish communities kept their favorite festival. Even during the war years, the dwellers of ghettos managed to build hidden sukkahs on the balconies. In the Warsaw ghetto in 1941, people patiently waited for hours in line to get the Sukkot blessing by sitting in the sukkah.
Today, Sukkot had taken on another feature aside from religion. The magnetic event inspired dozens of movie, theater, and music festivals to schedule around the same date. The celebration is topped off with an international parade overtaking Jerusalem, making Sukkot the best time to visit Israel.
The First Day of Sukkot opens the Sukkot week. It lasts for one day in Israel and for two days in the diaspora, considered especially meaningful for those who live abroad. It is celebrated as duly as the sabbath, with the prayers preceding big and high-spirited feast. Besides, just like on the sabbath, any labor is prohibited.
Getting the blessing by sitting in a sukkah, the traditional hut, is a must. The rule is that sukkah must stand under the stars, so it can only be an outdoor build. However, some people manage to put them up in weirdest places, even on their balconies.
Families and communities would usually build their own sukkah, but there’s also an option of joining a bigger party in one of the giant tabernacles carrying the logo of a huge hotel or city council. These massive constructions can shelter up to 5000 people at once. A truly unique experience!
Spending a week of fun feasting outdoors definitely buzzes up the community of Israelites and diasporas alike. You’re expected to dress up, have a serving of festive food on the table, and visit family and friends a lot. Funny sukkah decorations create a glimmering atmosphere inside these cozy huts, and whoever is up to it, is encouraged to sleep in the shelter, too.
Lots of eating is what Sukkot is all about. After all, it’s the harvest celebration. Autumn time means there are tons of perfectly ripe vegetables and fruits in the markets. Hence, ideas for Sukkot’s specials: stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage, all deals stuffed, tzimmes, corn salsa, flavorful salads, and hearty dessert pies.
During the sukkot, brands win by bringing celebratory spirit around. Some run small city parades and take portable sukkahs around the villages to give everyone an opportunity to be blessed. It’s a great idea for a roadshow or a POS promotion.
Being an outdoor festival, Sukkot time is just made for the lively activity in the parks and on the town squares. Food and beverage brands spike in sales during the Sukkot season - so grab the opportunity to get some appreciation slogans to your audience beforehand.
On Sukkot, social media are flooded with joyful messages and soulful quotes, but also - competitiveness! Thanks to Instagram, the picture contests for the best-decorated sukkahs became customary around Israel.
Plan a user-generated campaign at this time and let all your followers show off their builds, decorations, and festive dishes. Sharing the photos of challah, for one, is a very common thing between families on Sukkot.
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Pure Yellow – like Sun and like the walls of the sukkah, yellow is an invitation to joy in the Sukkot images.
Yellow Green – the Autumn color of earth and rich crops, represented by an etrog.
Deepskyblue – is the color of the night sky above the sukkah.
Green – green stands for the leafy roof of the sukkah, but what’s more important, for hope.
Lulav is a must-have accessory of the festival. It is a special woven holder with three ritual plants - palm, willow, and myrtle. They’re put together in a bunch and held to bless all four corners of the sukkah when performing the greeting rituals in the tabernacle.
Etrog is the citron fruit, another must-have and the fourth of the symbolic Sukkot plants. Holding the green lulav in one hand, and the fragrant yellow etrog in the other, one performs the mitzvah, bringing the gifts close to God and asking for their blessing.
The biggest symbol of the Sukkot is the sukkah itself. The definition of sukkah is a temporary building with three walls, and a roof made of plants. The roof is made of bamboo, pine, and palm leaves scattered so that one can see the sky from the inside. By staying in the sukkah, one shows that with the faith in God, you are safer in a flimsy hut than in the biggest palace.