Passover is a very important holiday for the Jewish people, and a tradition we want to pass on to our children. However, encouraging children to get involved, understand, and learn from this festival is often difficult, especially since it lasts eight days and their attention spans are so short.
So, how do you encourage them to enjoy and celebrate this holiday? First, let’s take a look at what this holiday means and why it’s so important.
The Story of Passover
In ancient days, the Israelites spent decades trapped in slavery to Egyptian pharaohs, performing hard, backbreaking labour. God saw these his people were hurting and in distress, so he sent Moses to the Pharaoh to tell him to let his people go, so that they might serve Him. Despite this, the Pharaoh refused, so God sent ten plagues to devastate Egypt, destroying their crops, livestock, and livelihood. The plagues included locusts, darkness, wild animals, pestilence, boils, lice, frogs, and hail.
The last plague was the plague from with Passover was named. With this plague, the Angel of Death went to each home throughout the land, killing the firstborn son of each household. The only homes that were spared were those of the Hebrews, who had been instructed to mark their door posts with lambs blood. By doing so, the Angel of Death knew to pass over these homes and spare the firstborn sons inside.
It wasn’t until the tenth plague was over that the pharaoh finally relented and allowed the Israelites to go free. Because they did not have much time, the Hebrews had to quickly bake their bread and did not have enough time to let the dough rise.
Celebrating Passover With Children
Passover is celebrated as a time to remember the freedom granted to the Israelites, but it isn’t always exciting to small children. Getting them interested in celebrating such an important part of their history is important, though, and with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can do just that.
- Create a Bag of Plagues- The Seder, or choreographed dinner that occurs on the first two nights of Passover, involves the reading of the ten plagues. Capture your children’s attention by giving them a bag of goodies that represent each one and explain to them what each one means. You could use sunglasses to represent darkness, toy animals to represent pestilence and wild animals, and bubbles to represent the boils.
- Make it Sweet- Children love chocolate and sweet food, and with some of their friends celebrating Easter instead of Passover, it’s important that they feel as if they aren’t getting the short end of the stick. While it’s traditional to stay away from leavened bread during Passover, (in honor of the quick departure the Hebrews had to make,) there are plenty of sweet options to choose from at Kettleman’s Bagel Co. Take for instance, our baklava. This treat is made from unleavened filo pastry, making it a fantastic and tasty option for kids. In addition, by ordering from our Ottawa bagel company, you can dedicate more time to making the rest of Passover entertaining for your children.
- Afikomen Bag Decorations- The Afikomen is a piece of unleavened bread, or matzah, that is hidden during the Seder. The parents generally hide this piece and the children find it, often winning a prize for doing so. Make this part of the celebration even more fun by having your children decorate the bag that the Afikomen is placed in.
Do you want your children to be more interested in celebrating Passover? Take the time to make it fun and exciting for them with the help of these tips and our Ottawa catering company.