*Before anything else, here’s the deal about the dates. In 2012, Passover began at sundown on April 6. Since Passover is based on the Hebrew lunar calendar, it’s date is different each year (and since Easter, Lent, Pentecost, and others are based off of it, they are all different each year).
*Also, in the Hebrew calendar, the day is over and the next day begins at sunset, which is why Passover always begins at sunset.
*One more also, Passover / The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for either 7 or 8 days, depending on who you are. Alright . . . moving on.
Passover was one of the most important celebrations for the ancient Israelites (if not the most). Consequently, it still is one of the most important weeks of the year for modern Jews and some Christians. Passover commemorates the day that God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. What Christians now celebrate as Communion or the Lord’s Supper was begun when Jesus and his disciples were celebrating Passover in the upper room.
The book of Exodus provides many instructions for celebrating Passover, but the whole celebration centers around a share meal and a shared story. Many books are available with information on how to hold your own Seder meal and the traditions that are enjoyed at it (go here for info on the traditional foods of a Seder). The point is to remember and remind each other that our God is a saving God, full of power.
“Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast.”
“On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”
Exodus 13:3, 8-9