Passover celebrates the miraculous exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Ancient Egypt in the year 1313 BCE. The Exodus was preceded by ten plagues inflicted on Egypt after Pharaoh refused Mosesí request to set his people free.
The tenth and worst of the plagues was the slaying of the first-born. Israelites were told to mark the front doors of their homes with lamb's blood. Upon seeing the markings, God "passed over" those homes.
When the Israelites finally left Egypt, they did so in such a hurry their bread did not have time to rise. In commemoration of that, Jews donít eat any leaven products and eat Matzah, cracker-like bread that is made within eighteen minutes, the time it takes for bread to rise.
The first Seder (Erev Pesach) of Passover is tonight. Passover is celebrated with a meal on the first two nights. Some of the rituals and traditions include drinking four cups of wine, the asking of the Four Questions, and recounting the Passover story.
The holiday runs through April 26th.