When Is Passover 2016?

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Jews around the world are preparing to celebrate Passover, a festival that commemorates their release from slavery.

This year it begins on April 22, and lasts until April 30.

Passover marks the occasion on which the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses freed the Israelites from their chains — and the 10 plagues that preceded their departure.

In the Old Testament, God commands Moses and Aaron to go to Pharoah and ask him to let the Hebrews go free.

But Pharaoh is unmoved. So God unleashes 10 plagues, including a river of blood, a flight of insects and an infestation of frogs.

More plagues follow, including a hail storm, boils, a blight on Egyptian livestock and three days of darkness.

The final plague saw God smite the firstborn son of every Egyptian, "passing over" the Israelites.

It was only then, after the last plague, that the Hebrews took their exodus from Egypt, passing through the Red Sea when God parted it for them.

Passover is celebrated in two parts, according to Chabad.org.

The first and last two days of the holiday see religious Jews shunning work or driving. They light candles, recite "kiddush" (a blessing that is made over wine to sanctify the holiday) and enjoy delicious meals.

The first two nights also see them observe the "Seder," in which they re-tell the story of how the Israelites left Egypt.

They eat matzah, or flat bread made without yeast, consume bitter-tasting herbs that remind them of the slavery their ancestors suffered, and drink wine to celebrate their exodus.

But Passover meals aren't just limited to matzah. Jewish families also make foods such as soup, brisket, short ribs and flourless cake — recipes can be found via the Food Network.

And there are plenty more here.

So as the saying goes, "Chag Sameach" (Happy Festival)!

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