When Is Passover

As is the case with most Jewish holidays, since they don’t fall on the same calendar day each year, you may be wondering when is Passover this year? Well, that really depends on when you’re reading this article.

matzo and haggadah.
Photo credit: Adobe Photos.

When in Passover

First, I’ll share with you the dates for Passover — aka Pesach in Hebrew — for the next few years. Then, I’ll provide tips on preparing for Passover.

We’ve already shared the meaning of Passover in our recipe article for homemade matzo. Now, here are the dates that answer the question, “When is Passover?”

  • Passover 2023: April 5-April 13, 2023
  • Passover 2024: April 22-April 30, 2024
  • Passover 2025: April 12-April 20, 2025
  • Passover 2026: April 1-April 9, 2026 (that’s no April Fool’s Joke)

Preparing for Passover

When you think about how to prepare for Passover, you may be thinking about what meal to prepare for a seder or a family dinner. However, when I think about preparations, I think about cleaning the house.

That is, I can remember the frenzy my mother would get into to get our home — primarily, the kitchen — ready for the holiday. We didn’t keep a kosher home, though my grandparents did. That meant that they had two sets of dishes, flatware, glasses, etc. One set was for dairy meals. The other set was for meat meals.

Never the twain shall meet. That is, you don’t eat meat and dairy together if you’re keeping kosher. I still remember the look of horror on my grandparents’ faces when, as a very little kid, I asked for a glass of chocolate milk with my hamburger.

But back to preparing for Pesach. This holiday throws a curveball into any kosher or non-kosher kitchen. Because since you’re not supposed to eat anything leavened — bread products with yeast —you need to clean all of that out of the kitchen.

Cleaning the kitchen before the holiday

Like cleaning out the cabinets, pantry and refrigerator by putting everything away somewhere else. Truly religious people donate all their old food, burn it or throw it away so it is literally out of the house for Passover.

Then, once all the food is gone and you’ve put away the everyday dishes, cookware, etc, you need to wash all of those spaces in the kitchen. Once you’re done, you need to take out a fresh set of dishes, flatware, glasses, pans, pots, etc. that you use only on Passover.

a separate set of dishes just for passover
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Just writing all of this from memory is making me sweat. No wonder my mom was always in a tizzy before this week-long holiday.

Some people go so far as to clean out pockets in coats, dump out contents of backpacks and vacuum their cars so they can get all of the non-Passover crumbs before the first seder. My family wasn’t that religious.

I wonder in a world of reusable bags how that affects shopping for Passover. Should you wash those reusable bags in hot water, then use them to buy the products that are labeled “Kosher for Passover”? That way you don’t contaminate anything you buy for the seder and beyond?

kosher for passover on the label
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

When should you start cleaning?

It all depends. Can you clean everything ahead of time and declare that part of the kitchen off limits? Or if you’re like many modern families, you have to live your life, with packing school lunches and what not. So, probably not until a day or two before the first seder can you start.

Again, now I really have a better appreciation of how much work my mother had to do before Passover. And we were a small family.

Is Passover a legal holiday?

Unless Passover overlaps with Easter — which is always on a Sunday, anyway — it is not a legal holiday. Growing up I can remember packing matzo sandwiches for my school lunch because we had to go to school during the holiday. Again, if we were lucky enough to have that overlap, then usually the week before or the week after would be school spring break so we got a vacation.

Regarding legal holidays, this article explains all of the federal holidays, meaning those recognized nationally. Some states have additional legal holidays.

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