Happy birthday, trees! Tu Bishvat falls on January 17, 2022, which is the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Rabbis long ago established the 15th of Shevat as the official birthday of all trees regardless of when they were planted. The 15th of Shevat marks the season when the trees in Israel begin to bloom and bear new fruits. Tu Bishvat was not a festival in ancient times but was an important date for Jewish farmers.

Things to Know and How to Celebrate Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat Is One of Four Jewish “New Years”

Tu Bishvat is one of the four Jewish “new years” established by Talmudic rabbis. The most common out of the four is Rosh Hashanah, head of the year. The other is near the new year for establishing the reign of kings and a new year for tithing animals of Jewish farmers to be given to the Temple. Interesting, right?

Tu Bishvat Is a Non-Religious Festival

The Jewish festival is the OG Earth Day and celebrates nature. Once established as a way for Jewish farmers to keep time, the contemporary festival serves as a reminder to be kind to our planet. Many Jewish schools host conservation projects and learn about the land of Israel. Israelis observe Tu Bishvat as an ecological day and plant trees in celebration. You can join in a plant a tree in someone’s honor or gift a tree to be planted in Israel.

There Are 7 Symbolic Fruits

On Tu Bishvat, Jewish people eat the seven species of fruits native to the land of Israel. These include pomegranates, grapes, dates, figs, olives, wheat, and barley. In ancient times it was a mitzvah to be the first to bring these fruits to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Kabbalists believe there is a deeper significance to these fruits and that each corresponds to the seven sefirot.

It Is Common to Host a Seder

Unlike the Passover seder, the Tu Bishvat seder is less intense. There is no large meal, just a few glasses of wine, fruits, and nuts. Many families eat a ceremonial meal made of the symbolic foods listed above or host a seder. It is also customary for many to eat a new fruit and say the Shehecheyanu blessing. PJ Library has great seder guidelines if you’re new to celebrating this festival.

Celebrate Tu Bishvat with Fruit-Forward Recipes

This festival is a great excuse to add freshness to your cooking, especially since fruit is the centerpiece. You can start your Tu Bishvat meal with a seven-species salad featuring Israeli Bulgarit cheese. For your main course, you can go light with this Pumpkin Sage ‘Alfredo’ Sauce served over your favorite pasta. And for dessert, you can try a Pecan Fig Mini Tart, or Birthright Israel Chocolate Bark topped with chopped dates in honor of Tu Bishvat.

Download Our Tu Bishvat Coloring Pages

Are you looking to teach your kids or grandkids about the holiday? Then why not download and print our Tu Bishvat coloring pages. It’s an easy activity to help your kids learn more about the seven symbolic fruits. Plus, you’ll have something beautiful to hang on your fridge!

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