Shavuot, Samaritan Style


Did you know Shavuot was last week?

You knew it if you were on Mount Gerizim, the biblical site on the West Bank near Nablus.

The Samaritans, descendants of Jewish tribes who were exiled from the Promised Land nearly three millennia ago and who observe aspects of the ancient Israelite religion and culture, start counting the seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot on the first Shabbat after Pesach, instead of on the second night of Pesach, the Jewish tradition.

Hence the Samaritan Shavuot always falls on Sunday — June 24 this year.

These Samaritans, among some 750 who live near Nablus and near Tel Aviv, pray on Mount Gerizim.

The Samaritan Shavuot is a seven-day holiday, including a march to Mount Gerizim and dairy meals.