Feasts and Holy Days


Link by Hebrew Name




Link by English Name



HEAD of MONTH (New Moon)

Messianic Theme

Redemption of slave-girl for Bride
Maturing toward Betrothal
Betrothal of Bride to Messiah
Return of Messiah for Bride
Purification of the Bride
Marriage Feast of the Lamb
Eternal Dwelling

Dedication of Yeshua

Sanctifying God's time

Overview of Annual Holy Days
Picturing the Marriage of the Lamb

Basic Festival regulations are in black type.
Messianic interpretations are in blue type.


The Passover Seder is a memorial celebration of the redemption of a slave girl (Israel) from the land of sin (Egypt). The Feast of Firstfruits / Pentecost celebrates her betrothal to Messiah, with the Torah being the Shitre Erusin / Betrothal Contract. The Day of Trumpets rehearses the hearing of the Last Trump and Messiah returning for His Bride. The Day of the Atonements marks the purification of the Bride. The Feast of Tabernacles rehearses the seven-day Wedding Feast, and the Eighth Day celebrates their future eternal new home (Renewed Earth).

The Holy Days are Biblically called zikkaron / rehearsals or memorials (Leviticus 23:24), and moedim / appointments with God (Leviticus 23:2). Every Yom Tov (Holy Day – observed as a Sabbath) requires a miqra / public worship service (Leviticus 23:4), and has a seder / order of service described in Mishnah as observed in the Temple of the Holy One.

It is helpful to be aware that each Biblical day starts at sundown (not midnight), and each Biblical month starts with a 'new moon' (the evening before a small crescent moon is observed and sanctified).

Portions of the ancient Biblical Holy Days are outlined herein to portray their relationship to Messiah taking His bride. The quotations from Yeshua (Jesus) and His apostles are seen as being based on such an understanding of the Feasts and the marriage of the Lamb.

Spring Festivals

Rosh Hodesh / New Moon

Nisan 1 (beginning at sundown on April 9, 2005) – the Biblical Festival Year begins. The first day is called Rosh Hodesh Nisan, meaning Head of the Month Nisan, and is generally called New Moon Nisan. It is now celebrated according to a calendar patterned after the ancient requirement of sighting of the new crescent moon and sanctification of the month by the Great Sanhedrin. This is not exactly the same as the astronomical new moon. A Rosh Hodesh is celebrated at the beginning of each Biblical month, and is the basis for the timing of each Festival. (Rosh Hodesh is pronounced Roash ho-DAYSH with a guttural h in ho.) See Exodus 12:2; explanation of Hebrew texts may be found in Mishnah: Rosh HaShannah.

Preparation of the Passover

Nisan 14 (April 23, 2005) is called the Preparation of the Passover. This afternoon is when the Paschal Lamb must be slain, and other elements prepared for the coming Feast. Starting at noon on this day, no leaven may be found with us: while the Feast does not start until sundown, leaven cannot be present at slaying time. See Exodus 12:6 and John 19:14, 31, 42. (Note: you will hear much confusion, such as calling this day the Passover Feast, separating it from Unleavened Bread. This generally results from depending upon unclear English translations.)  

Yeshua was presented as Messiah Prophet, Priest, and King during His four-day examination at the Temple grounds. He went through all the preparation rites for the Paschal Lamb, preceding His crucifixion. He was found to be without blemish.

Hag HaMatzot / Feast of Unleavened Breads

Nisan 15 - 21 (beginning at sundown on April 23, 2005) is the Biblical seven-day Hag HaMatzot, translated Feast of Unleavened Breads. This is the first major Festival of the Biblical year. The first and seventh days are each called a Yom Tov, meaning a Holy Day – observed as a Sabbath. On the first evening of this Feast, we have a Pesach Seder, meaning Passover order of service: that is when the lamb is eaten in Temple times.  (Hag HaMatzot is pronounced Hawg haw-MAWT-zoat. Yom Tov is pronounced Yome Tove. Pesach Seder is pronounced PAY-sock SAY-der.) See Exodus 12:18, 12:16, Leviticus 23:10-11; explanation of Hebrew texts in Mishnah: Pesachim.

Passover is about Messiah redeeming a slave-girl (Israel / the church) to be His future bride.

The ancient Passover Seder (order of service), as recorded in the Mishnah, is divided into four parts. Each part is related to drinking a cup of grape juice / wine which is called the blood of the Covenant. The four cups represent the four parts of the Covenant that Messiah made with His intended bride (Exodus 6:6-7).

The first cup is called the Cup of Blessing. It represents the first part of the Covenant, "I will sanctify you," which is God's promise that Messiah's bride will be separated from idolaters of the world. Paul refers to this cup -- "The Cup of Blessing with which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" (1 Corinthians 10:16). The first cup is also called Kiddush for the blessing of Sanctification, and the blessing of Him who Preserves – called the Shehechianu.

A special piece of matza (unleavened bread), which is pierced and striped, is broken for us, and hidden in a linen pouch (symbolically buried).

The second cup is called the Cup of Plagues. It represents the second part of the Covenant, "I will deliver you," which is a promise of deliverance from the sin of this world. Deliverance from Egyptian slavery was through ten plagues. The final deliverance from the slavery of this world will be through similar plagues (Revelation 16)..

The feast is eaten at this time. It must include lamb, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread (Exodus 12:8). It is a large meal for which a tithe is saved during preceding months. The lamb must be completely eaten by midnight (Exodus 12:10).

At the end of the meal, the dessert is the special piece of matza previously broken for us; it is symbolically resurrected from the linen burial cloth and eaten. At the "Last Supper," Yeshua said, "This is (represents) my body, which is broken (killed) for you" (1 Corinthians 11:24).

The third cup, taken after supper, is called the Cup of Redemption. It represents the third part of the Covenant, "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm," which is God's promise to redeem Messiah's bride through crucifixion.

The third cup of the blood of the Covenant is taken after the meal and dessert are finished. At the "Last Supper," Luke tells us, "And in the same way, after the supper, He (Yeshua) took the Cup, saying, 'This Cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood' " (Luke 22:20).

After the third cup, the singing of Hallel (Psalms 113 - 118) is finished. At this point during the "Last Supper," Mark confirms that Yeshua and His disciples sang Hallel (sometimes translated praise or hymn -- Mark 14:25).

The fourth cup is called the Cup of Glorification or the Cup of Completion. It represents the fourth part of the Covenant, "I will take you as My own people and I will be your God" (God's promise of Messiah dwelling with His bride in immortality).

The second day of this Feast is called Waving Day, when an omer of barley flour is mixed with oil and waved with a lamb, then offered upon the altar, thus starting 50 days of Counting the Omer.

From Waving Day to the Day of the Firstfruits we count each of the fifty days. After being redeemed, we excitedly count the days until the betrothal.

The third day after the Passover seder (the third day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the day Yeshua came out of the tomb - in defeat of Satan's armies, and in fulfillment of Jonah's prophecy of three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The forty-second day of Counting the Omer is Iyyar 27, the date that Noah's flood waters were dried from the earth (Genesis 8:14). The water of life ascended from the earth. This being forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3), Yeshua ascended into the heavens, after saying, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2-3). After redeeming the slave-girl, He must go to His Father's house to prepare a dwellingplace for their future married life. John later foretells of this prepared city that will come down from the heavens adorning the bride for her husband (Revelation 21:2).

Hag Shavuot - Yom HaBikkurim / Feast of Weeks - Day of the Firstfruits - Pentecost

Sivan 6 is the fiftieth day of Counting the Omer. Pentecost means fiftieth day. This day is Biblically called Yom HaBikkurim, meaning Day of the Firstfruits. (Yom means Day, Ha means The, Bikkur means Firstfruit, and im on the end makes it plural.) It is also called Hag Shavuot, meaning Feast of Weeks, because it is the day after counting seven weeks. Two large loaves of leavened wheat bread are waved on this day. (Yom Habikkurim is pronounced Yome haw-bee-koo-REEM. Hag Shavuot is pronounced Hawg shaw-voo-OTE.) See Exodus 34:22, Leviticus 23:15-17, Numbers 28:26. (Note: you will hear teachings that confuse these names with Waving Day. This often results from misguided attempts to tie the Day of Firstfruits with Yeshua’s resurrection. The term "firstfruits" is often used without referring to this feast.)

Pentecost is about Messiah giving a betrothal contract to His future bride.

Over thirty-three-hundred years ago, on Pentecost, the Torah was given as a betrothal contract in the tongue of angels (Hebrew) and the tongues of men (languages of the 70 nations). In a similar manner, almost two-thousand years ago, on Pentecost, the Gospel was given in the tongue of angels and the tongues of men, displaying an "earnest contract" with the bride (Acts 2:1-11, Ephesians 1:14).

At this feast, we take the bride's Betrothal Cup, saying, "All that the Lord our God says, we will obey, and we will learn" (Deuteronomy 5:27). We will literally and perfectly and whole-heartedly fulfill this when we are glorified and dwelling with Messiah.

Fall Festivals

Yom Teruah / Day of Trumpeting

Tishrei 1 (beginning at sundown on October 3, 2005) is Yom Teruah, meaning the Day of Blowing the Shofar, and commonly called the Feast of Trumpets. It is also Biblically called Rosh HaShannah, meaning Head of the Year. (This is the New Year for Sabbatical and Jubilee years; the New Year for Festivals is Nisan 1.) This is the day that "no man knows the day or the hour". It is observed as a forty-nine hour Sabbath during which we are to stay awake and watch! On this day the Shofar (Ram’s Horn Trumpet) is blown many times, with a shout preceding each trump. The command for this day is to “Hear the Shofar.” (Yom Teruah is pronounced Yome Te-ROO-ah.) See Leviticus 23:24, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:52; explanation of Hebrew texts in Mishnah: Rosh HaShannah.

The Day of Trumpeting is about Messiah returning for His bride.

On this day, a ram's-horn trumpet, called a shofar, is blown several times with specific sounds (see I Corinthians 14:8). Each trump of the shofar has a specific meaning indicated by a preceding shout. The Last Trump of the shofar is preceded by the shout of "Tekiah Gedolah," which translates as the Great Return.

This feast is an annual rehearsal for that day when the archangel will shout "Tekiah Gedolah" , and the Last Trump will be heard (I Thessalonians 4:16). Then the righteous dead will be raised immortal (I Corinthians 15:52-54), and Yeshua will return for His coronation as King of the Whole Earth.

The ten days from the Day of Trumpeting to the Day of the Atonements are called Yamim Noraim, translated the Days of Awe. We shall kneel in awe before Messiah Yeshua.

Yom HaKippurim / Day of the Atonements

Tishrei 10 (October 13, 2005) is the only Biblically mandated fast day. It is called Yom HaKippurim, meaning Day of the Atonements (Yom means Day, Ha means The, Kippur means Atonement, and the im ending makes it plural. The singular word Kippur/Atonement never occurs in Scripture.) On this day two goats are the main symbols, representing the two atonements. (Yom HaKippurim is pronounced Yome Haw-kee-poo-REEM.) See Leviticus 16:7-34, 23:27-32.

The Day of the Atonements is about Messiah presenting to Himself a spotless bride (Ephesians 5:21).

Two goats represent Messiah. Two kinds of atonement are required (Leviticus 16:8-22).

The first goat is the goat for Yahweh, commonly called an elevation offering (it is burned on an altar and the aroma ascends). It represents Yeshua's righteousness being imputed to us, ascending to God as our aroma of righteousness (Romans 4:24).

The second goat is the goat for Azazel, commonly called the scapegoat. The sins of the people are symbolically placed upon it, and it is led into the wilderness. It represents Yeshua taking our sins upon Himself, and taking them away from us.

Hag Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles

Tishrei 15-21 (sundown October 17 – October 24, 2005) is the seven-day Hag Sukkot, meaning Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. It is observed by dwelling in a sukkah, a temporary structure made of tree-branches, for the seven days, and feasting primarily on tree fruits and nuts. The first day is a Yom Tov – observed as a Sabbath. (Hag Sukkot is pronounced Hawg sue-KOAT, and may be transliterated/spelled various ways including Hag Succoth.) See Leviticus 23:39-43, Numbers 29:12-34, Deuteronomy 16:13-17; explanation of Hebrew texts in Mishnah: Sukkot.

The Feast of Tabernacles is Messiah's seven-day wedding feast. It is called the Time of our Joy.

By this feast, all of the crops of fruit have been brought in. This culminating agricultural feast represents the culmination of the marriage. The earth has been reaped, and all of the fruit (God's people) has been brought in. The Covenant is fulfilled, and Emmanuel (God with us) is pictured as dwelling in His tabernacle (this earth) with His spotless bride.

Shimini Atzeret / Eighth Day Assembly

Tishrei 22 (October 25, 2005) is Shimini Atzeret, meaning Eighth Day: it follows the seven days of Sukkot. It is a Yom Tov, observed as a Sabbath. It is also the ancient Simcha Torah, meaning Rejoicing in the Torah, though modern Jews celebrate this one day later. See Numbers 29:35 - 30:1.

The Eighth Day Assembly represents Messiah dwelling with us on the eternal, renewed earth. All seventy nations, represented by the seventy bullocks offered on Sukkot, have become one, as the single bullock offered this day.

Winter Festivals

Hanukkah / Dedication

Hanukkah, meaning Dedication, is an eight-day Festival of Lights that begins on Kislev 25 (sundown on December 25, 2005). It is called a Minor Festival because it is not Torah mandated, and therefore has no day that is a Yom Tov. It is, however, a Biblical Festival. It celebrates several dedications of the Holy Temple. See Ezra 6:16, the apocryphal book of Maccabees, John 10:22.

We celebrate Hanukkah as the dedication of Yeshua, the Light of the World, at His conception. We celebrate His birth nine months later at Sukkot, and His circumcision and naming on the Eighth Day Assembly.

Purim / Lots

Purim, meaning Lots, is celebrated on Adar 14 (March 25, 2005). The Book of Esther is read with acting parts at this Festival. (Purim is pronounced Poo-REEM.) See Esther 9:31.


Revised 2-11-2003 ddd

© 2003  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)




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