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What’s on the menu for your Passover gathering?

Passover, or Pesach, is an eight-day holiday that is celebrated in early spring and begins on March 25 this year. Chabad.org reports the festival commemorates "the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Ancient Egypt." The holiday recounts God seeing the Israelites' struggles and sends Moses to tell the Pharaoh to let the people go. 

The history of freedom
After the Pharaoh refuses to free the Jews, God sends 10 plagues to Egypt, greatly devastating the ruler and all the people other than the Israelites. The final plague killed the firstborn children of all people except those from Israel, at which time the Pharaoh literally chases his former slaves out of the nation. Since the Israelites had to leave in such a hurry, they made bread for the trip but did not have time to let it rise, the news source reports. Now, it is tradition that people refrain from eaten risen foods during Passover in honor of their people's journey to freedom. 

How Passover is celebrated now
There are many ways in which people of the Jewish faith celebrate and honor this important holiday, the first being refraining from and not even having risen foods in the home. Jewish people must go through all of their food and beverages and throw away any products that contain wheat, barley, rye, oats or other grains. The un-risen food matzah is a popular choice for Passover.

The other important way to honor this holiday is the Passover Seder, which is observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. The 15-step tradition is heavily based on food, with guests and family eating matzah, bitter herbs, wine or grape juice and reading from passages that describe the journey to freedom.

Adding a bit of flair to tradition
Even though sticking to the important rituals of Passover is key in commemorating the struggles Israelites had to overcome to gain freedom, The Philadelphia Inquirer recently listed a few exciting recipes that could spice up the eight-day celebration.

According to the news outlet, a breakfast of matzo, cheese and jam might help fill people up, while serving a savory stew like a mix of roasted carrots, beets, butternut squash and cauliflower mixed with a bit of broth is sure to fill families up. Pan-fried fish or broiled meats can also be added for more flavor. 

Families can also enhance the mood of the holiday through specialty Passover flowers like Teleflora's Beautiful in Blue to emphasize the colors of the Israeli flag.

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