Feasts and Festivals of Israel in the Old Testament

Leviticus 23:2 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

The Bible reveals that God appointed certain days of the year to be remembered and celebrated by the congregation of Israel. The word "feast" comes from two Hebrew words that mean (Heb. Moaid) "divinely appointed times" and the other (Heb. Khag ) means "festival" from the verb which means "to dance". There were seven feasts that were observed annually in ancient Israel, and they were celebrated in this order: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Only three were actual feasts: Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Tabernacles. The other four were appointed times. They were only required to fast on the Day of Atonement. During the special times they would remember great events with God. Three times per year: during the feast of Pentecost, Passover, and Tabernacles all male Israelites were to gather together. This is referred to as the "gathering" or "convocation". After the exile the Israelites began meeting together on the Sabbath day.

It is commonly believed among Christians that the first four feasts in the spring speak of the first coming of Jesus Christ (the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the beginning of the church), and the last three feasts in the fall speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ (The Rapture, Israel receiving her Messiah, and the kingdom is set up on earth).

Below is a list of Feasts and Festivals in the ancient Hebrew Calendar.

List of the Feasts and Festivals in the Old Testament
Feasts and FestivalsHebrew MonthsSeason/Harvest
The Sacred Year
1. Nisan (March and April)Spring
Passover (Heb. Pesakh)Nisan 14-21Barley is Ripe
Leviticus 23:5 - In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.
Description: The Feast of the Passover was instituted by the LORD on the night before the Israelites made their departure from Egypt. Passover was a perpetual reminder of God's deliverance of the Hebrews by passing over their houses where they applied the blood on the lintel and doorposts of their homes. God spared their first-born sons, but slew the first-born of the Egyptians. The Feast of Passover began on the 14th day of the month of Abib (Later Nisan), and it lasted for a period of 7 days. It was also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because no leaven was to be eaten. The Paschal Lamb was chosen on the 10th day and sacrificed on the 14th day and the roasted flesh was eaten in haste.
Unleavened Bread (Heb. Matsoth)Nisan 15Figs are Blossoming
Leviticus 23:6 - And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
Description: The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a continuation of the Feast of Passover, and lasted for seven days. Because these two Feasts were so connected they were celebrated as one continued festival of eight days. They are commonly referred to as one festival and both names are used to refer to it. On the last day of the feast a wheat-sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was offered up in thanks for God's abundant provision in bringing forth fruit out of the earth.
First Fruits (Heb. Yom Havikurim)Nisan 16
Leviticus 23:10-11 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Description: During the closing of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a wheat-sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest was offered up in thanks for God's abundant provision in bringing forth fruit out of the earth. The first fruits of every harvest was to be offered to God (Exodus 22:29, Numbers 18:12) before gathering their harvest. They were not to make bread until the first fruits were offered in thanksgiving of the harvest.
2. Iyar (April and May)Barley Harvest
3. Sivan (May and June)Wheat Harvest
Pentecost or Weeks (Heb. Shavuot)Sivan 6
Leviticus 23:16 - Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
Description: The Hebrew word shavuot means weeks, and it was called The Feast of Weeks because it was celebrated the day after seven weeks (a week of weeks) after the Feast of Passover. Pentecost is from two Greek words meaning 50 days and the Feast took place on the 50th day after the Passover. God established the Feast to remember the greatness of God when he gave the Law from Mount Sinai which took place 50 days after their departure from the land of Egypt. During the Feast two sheaves of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest are mingled together into one and waved before the LORD. The New Testament speaks of the birth of the Church when the Day of Pentecost had "fully come".
4. Tammuz (June and July)Summer Early Vintage
5. Av (July and August)Figs are Ripe
6. Elul (August and September)General Vintage
7. Tishri (September and October)Fall, Plowing and Sowing
Trumpets (Heb. Yom Tiruah)Tishri 1-2
Leviticus 23:24 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first [day] of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Description: The Feast of Trumpets was a special time of blowing trumpets and was celebrated on the 1st and 2nd days of the month of Tishri (September/October). The first day of Tishri was also the start of the civil year for the Hebrews.
Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur)Tishri 10
Leviticus 23:27 - Also on the tenth day of this seventh month [there shall be] a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Description: The Great Day of Atonement happened on the 10th day of the month of Tishri and it was the most important day for holiness, and the only day in which the Hebrews were commanded to fast and "afflict their souls". The sacrifices on Yom Kippur were the most holy and the main sacrifice was made when the High Priest offered a sacrifice for the sins of the whole nation and entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat above the Ark of the Testimony.
Tabernacles (Heb. Sukkoth)Tishri 15-21
Leviticus 23:34 - Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
Description: The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishri, and lasted for 8 days. During the Feast of Tabernacles the people of Israel would dwell in Tents or Booths made from the branches of trees so that they would always remember the wilderness experiences as they felt the air blowing through the branches. The Feast of Tabernacles was also called the Feast of In-gatherings because the fruits of the land of Israel have been gathered in.
8. Heshvan (October and November)Latter Grapes
9. Chislev (November and December)Winter Snows
10. Tebeth (December and January)Grass after the Rains
11. Shebat (January and February)Winter Figs
12. Adar (February and March)Spring Almonds are Blossoming

Leviticus 23:44 - And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

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The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament