With the sighting of the new moon in Israel last evening, we can estimate the dates for this coming years fall feasts. As always, no one truly knows the day nor hour of Yom Teruah until the moon is sighted in Israel at the end of the sixth month. So these dates are tentative, but very likely.
A few years ago our family started slowing adding the observance of Yehovah’s feasts into our lives. When we first started it was so hard to know what to do.
What are the Biblical feasts?
When are the feasts?
Where do we celebrate them?
Who should celebrate them?
How do we celebrate them?
In this post I will be giving brief information about the fall feasts and sharing how our family observes each one.
The fall feasts are:
Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets)
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Sukkot (Feast of Booths)
You can read about them in Leviticus 23, Exodus 23, Deuteronomy 16, Numbers 29, Nehemiah 8. There are other passages, but that should give you a good starting point.
(The Hebrew/Biblical calendar is not the same as the Gregorian/American calendar, it is set by the cycle of the moon. Each feast is set by the moon. Most Jews use a calendar called the Hillel/Rabbinical Calendar, a Jewish leader is credited with putting this calendar together thousands of years ago based on the predictions of the moon. But, many believers, Jews and Christians, also actually sight the moon each month to determine when Yehovah’s feasts will be.)
Our family choose to use the sighting of the moon in Israel, and celebrate according to the reports from trusted resources in Israel.
Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah
Celebrated on the first day of the seven Biblical month, this year(2023) is expected the night of September 16th. Biblical days start at sundown the night before. So when the sun goes down on September 16th, we will gather outside and sing and worship, as we watch for the new moon to be sighted. The first person to see the moon gets a special gift (something from the dollar store). We blow the trumpets, shofars, and shout to Yehovah. We have a bon fire and just enjoy fellowship together with others at our house. This feast is a Sabbath, that means there is to be no ordinary work. So my husband, Jeremy, will take September 17th off from work. This is NOT like the weekly Sabbath, so we can cook and clean up after ourselves on this day, just not work or cause others to work a J-O-B. We will just spend the day together playing games and celebrating the new month, a feast month. The big thing about Yom Teruah, is that it is the announcement of the month of feasts. It is a day of joy and celebration of what is to come. It is also a day to remind God, that we remember His promises to us.
Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur
This is NOT a feast day. It is a day of humility. It is ten days after Yom Teruah, so this year it starts at sundown on September 25th and ended at sundown on September 26th. This is considered the highest holy day of the year. We are to do no work of any kind on this day according to scripture. It is a day we focus on our sin, repentance, and redemption. We focus on Yeshua and the price He paid for our sin. It is a somber day. Many people choose to fast and pray on this day. Our family chooses to fast. We do have plain nuts, some apples, and cheese for those who can not do a full fast. This is also a good day to serve others, but it is a Sabbath and it is a full Sabbath, no cooking or work of any kind is to be done on this day. We get together with others and pray and read scripture on this day.
Sukkot (Feast of Booths)
This is the biggest feast of the year. If you are making the switch from Catholic holidays to Feasts, this the feast that Christmas should have been. This is the big celebration of the year. It starts October 1-8th this year. The first and last days are both Sabbath days, but you can cook and clean up after yourself, you just can’t do ordinary work, your job, or cause another to have to work their job. This is my favorite week of the year.
On day one, you set up your Sukkah, a tent, a outdoor dwelling place. We put up a sort of large canopy and put branches on top of it. We decorate with fall décor, sort of like we would for Thanksgiving only outside. Then that day we will have others over and have a feast and singing and praising YHVH. We will also stay up late fellowshipping, and we will have another bon fire. This year we are going to a nearby campground and having a week long gathering with our fellowship and other like minded feast keepers.
The rest of the week, days 2-7, we will go and do fun things like going to the apple orchard, visiting friends and relatives, even those who do not celebrate the feasts. We will take gifts of food to them.
Then on the 8th, the GREAT DAY, my favorite day, we PARTY!!!!!!
This is a Sabbath, so no ordinary work. This year we plan to have a big party with others at the campground. With food and fun and fellowship. We will sing and read scripture, we will dance and play games. We will have games and prizes, and lots and lots of celebrating. This is the day to remember that one day soon our Messiah is returning for us His Bride. This day is suppose to be a picture, shadow, of the eternal Kingdom. SO go BIG or go home. This is the biggest day of the year. Think wedding reception, or Quinceanera, or something like that. For many years, my husband and I enjoyed celebrating the fourth of July. It was a big party. We saved all year for it. We bought lots and lots of fireworks, we invited 50 to 100 people each year to celebrate with us. We had food, games, prizes, fun, fellowship, worship, and more. Now, this day, the 8th Day, the Great Day, Yehovah’s feast day, is our big party day.
Someday, soon, our Savior will return and we will feast and celebrate the fall feasts with Him. So let’s practice and be well prepared for that day.