Around September 24

| September/October 1999 Issue

Many Jewish families and congregations celebrate Sukkot, the feast of the tabernacles, by constructing backyard huts called sukkahs, which they decorate with brightly colored branches, vegetables, and fruits, in remembrance of the tents their ancestors inhabited during their desert exodus from Egypt to Israel. The branches on the roof of the sukkah are arranged so one can look up, see the stars, and think of heaven. The holiday also serves as a chance to give thanks for the upcoming harvest. Celebrants often eat meals of freshly harvested spicy and sweet foods under the sukkahs, and families sometimes sleep there for seven nights. This festive holiday, whose actual date varies according to the lunar calendar, is also known as "the Season of Our Joy."