How to Celebrate Jewish Holidays As A Christian

I’m pretty sure my love for Jewish culture dates back to my 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade teachers who always took time around the December holidays to teach us about Hanukkah. (Shout out to Ms. Neidenberg ❤️) Growing up in New York City, diversity was always encouraged so we had the privilege to learn about different people groups and religions. I always looked forward to eating potato latkes and applesauce and playing dreidel for chocolate gelt (coins). Those celebrations have stuck with me as some of my favorite childhood memories, along with celebrating Kwanzaa at home and joining my dad’s Indian coworker to celebrate the Hindi Diwali holiday with her family one year. (I can smell and taste the deliciously spicy curry just thinking about it).



Creating Christian Traditions

Now that I am a Christian and especially now that I am a mom, I don’t actively participate in holidays that aren’t about Jesus or are in celebration of other gods. (Though I love having friends who aren’t like me and share their culture with me.) I haven’t celebrated Kwanzaa since I was child because though it is not a religious holiday and I love opportunities to remember my pan-African heritage, I had a hard time reconciling my desire to worship Jesus alone and observe the strong focus on “ancestors.” Maybe I’ll celebrate it again when I can put a clear Christian “twist” on it.

However, since becoming a Christian I’ve felt an even stronger connection to Jewish tradition because Jesus is Jewish. He probably would have observed Hanukkah and Purim (celebrating Esther), as well as the feasts outlined in the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. Obviously he observed the Passover (think Last Supper) and He is our Passover lamb.



Celebrating Jewish Holidays As A Christian Family

In Jewish culture, holidays hold a significance in family discipleship. Kids are often given gifts, there is usually food and gathering, and there is often time to attend Temple services. Traditionally, at meal times children will often ask questions relevant to the holiday and parents and other adult relatives will respond, passing on Bible stories and the meaning of the holidays.

The key to celebrating these holidays is rememberance. In many of the Jewish holidays, families are called to remember God and what He has done for them.

All of that being said, as someone who wants to raise my family in Christ, to know God, to remember His word, and to enjoy being Christians, I decided I want to actively begin observing Jewish holidays.

Earlier this year, we celebrated Purim for the first time! Purim is like the Jewish Halloween where families dress up and eat and celebrate the true Biblical account of Esther, who saved the Jewish people from genocide. We made crowns, ate hamantaschen (a snack that is supposed to resemble Haman’s hat) and we read the Bible Story together.



Our Ruth Bible study was actually done around Pentecost because traditionally, Ruth is one of the books of the Bible that is studied around Pentecost. We took that time to learn about the kindness of Ruth and what made it so special is that I collaborated with my beloved mom-in-law to make the craft.

And this month our family is observing Roshashannah with a Christian focus. I made some round challah bread as is customary for the “High Holidays” and I also made apple hand pies because apples and honey are a staple for Rosh Hashanah. I also wrote about a special ceremony called Tashlich that can be observed at the beach (yes, in September) for the Worth Beyond Rubies blog.

Here are some tips and ideas for celebrating Jewish holidays as a Christian family:

1. Do your research.

I read up as much as I could on Jewish holidays through a website called interfaithfamily. They are an organization that helps families that are both Jewish and something else learn more about Jewish culture and determine how traditional or non-traditional they want to be in the Jewish practices. They have lots of free guides on how to celebrate the holidays. Check them out! For a more religious view of each holiday, go to chabad.org to do your research.

2. Ask yourself how these holidays point to Christ.

As Christians we believe that the Messiah is Jesus and that should change our perspective in our celebration of the Jewish holidays. For example, Hanukkah is not just the Festival of Lights, it is our reminder that Jesus is the Light of the World.



3. Determine what these holidays mean to you as a Christian and your goal in celebrating them.

This will help you to figure out which ones to celebrate and why. For example, I wanted to celebrate Purim because I love Esther and wanted an excuse to dress up with my family, make a yummy snack and read the Bible together. Yom Kippur is traditionally a time of fasting and repentance for the Jewish people to become right with God and have their sins forgiven as they enter a new year, but I will be celebrating knowing that I can receive his mercy toward me through Christ Jesus and the righteousness I have in Him.

4. Pick the ones you want to celebrate and plan to do them!

I tend to choose holidays that are fun for kids to participate in. For example Sukkot is a fun holiday because families get to make a “fort” outside and eat underneath it. Sukkot is a celebration of the Torah and families often have all-nighters reading the Bible together. There are many opportunities to get creative with this.

I hope to write more about my own observances of these holidays and share them with you! I already have a recipe for hamantaschen that I want to try next year and can’t wait to share.

Your turn: Have you ever considered celebrating Jewish holidays? ⭐️

Posted in: Fun

9 Replies to “How to Celebrate Jewish Holidays As A Christian”

  1. For a long time I’ve felt the same way that you do, regarding Jewish culture. It’s always good to recognize God’s work and blessings. So in Jewish culture and holidays there is such remembering. So this is good.
    Many years ago some so called Christian people coused a seperation between Jewish and Christian’s culture. If God established it, it’s good. We’re not required to celebrate like Passover but it helps us to enrich our Christian life. Keep up the good work AM YISRAEL CHAI. [ THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL LIVE].

  2. Beautiful post!!! Informative and helpful! After being baptized in water and Spirit I learned that Jesus Christ already fulfilled ALL THE LORDs’ FEASTS and those in Christ fulfil all of them including SABBATH! This year, GOD willing I plan on learning and teaching my children about those wonderful feasts that are a reminder of The Father’s Love for us and how We can completely Rest and Trust that He took care of every detail of our Salvation and I’m looking forward to experiencing Forever with Him in Christ and then in our glorified bodies in HEAVEN. For those that are not familiar with The Kingdom of HEAVEN and how GOD made it possible for Everybody to be with Him…
    We must be Reborn to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and to do that there is the baptism of Water and SPIRIT. Before water baptism one must sincerely reflect and repent (there should be tears), then be complete submerged in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our Lord Jesus Christ. SPIRIT baptism is when somebody that already has The SPIRIT and speaks a new language supernaturally prays with you (does not have to be in person) to receive The Holy Spirit and then begin speaking / singing in another language and the SPIRIT will enable that person to speak / sing fluently quickly.
    I am praying for all those reading this post now that desire Redemption and Wholeness to be baptized in Water and SPIRIT (where ever they are at this moment) in THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Praise The Father forever and ever!!! He desires to begin Eternity with us now and to go through life’s journey with us!

    1. I am a Christian and also agree with your post 100%. My in-laws converted to Messianic Judaism about 10-12yrs ago and I’ve always been intrigued. Jesus was Jewish and celebrated Jewish holidays and I believe by doing them, we can grow closer to Him and God and have a better understanding. Do you have any tips or resources for celebrating Passover? I want to put on a Seder for my family and a friends family, but don’t know where to start.

  3. Beautiful post!!! Informative and helpful! After being baptized in water and Spirit I learned that Jesus Christ already fulfilled ALL THE LORDs’ FEASTS and those in Christ fulfil all of them including SABBATH! This year, GOD willing I plan on learning and teaching my children about those wonderful feasts that are a reminder of The Father’s Love for us and how We can completely Rest and Trust that He took care of every detail of our Salvation and looking forward to experiencing Forever with Him in Christ and then in our glorified bodies in HEAVEN. For those that are not familiar with The Kingdom of HEAVEN and how GOD made it possible for Everybody to be with Him…
    We must be Reborn to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and to do that there is the baptism of Water and SPIRIT. Before water baptism one must sincerely reflect and repent (there should be tears), then be complete submerged in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our Lord Jesus Christ. SPIRIT baptism is when somebody that already has The SPIRIT and speaks a new language supernaturally prays with you (does not have to be in person) to receive The Holy Spirit and then begin speaking / singing in another language and the SPIRIT will enable that person to speak / sing fluently quickly.
    I am praying for all those reading this post now that desire Redemption and Wholeness to be baptized in Water and SPIRIT (where ever they are at this moment) in THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Praise The Father forever and ever!!! He desires to begin Eternity with us now and to go through life’s journey with us!

  4. You have your own holidays to feel close to Jesus. Stop taking ours. Putting a Christian spin on Jewish holidays completely negates your desire to replicate what Jesus celebrated (you want to celebrate Passover like Jesus did? Go slaughter a lamb and then eat the entire thing in one night) so there’s one reason to just stop doing this. But even more importantly, considering the genocide that Jews have endured for centuries at the hands of Christians, this is incredibly insensitive and offensive. You don’t get to participate in a religion (Christianity) that has actively murdered Jews for celebrating these holidays and also take those holidays for yourself. If you want to celebrate Jewish holidays, convert to Judaism. Don’t steal from our religion. I hope you grow from this. Any local rabbi would love to talk to you more about this (probably in a kinder way than I am right now) so I hope you take advantage of that and educate yourself.

    1. Hi Rachel. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I have nothing but respect for Jewish culture so it saddens me to be offensive to anyone in this regard. My intentions are to connect with the culture my Messiah came from. That is a very personal experience that I have chosen to write about publicly but that in no way means stealing. I can’t take anything away from you. The one thing I would say is that the so-called “Christians” who have committed genocide to anyone we’re never really Christians at all. Also, I have been to non-Messianic congregations that have invited my family to celebrate with them. And to your point about slaughtering a lamb for Passover, it seems that even within Judaism some are not making that a practice. I see your point about people appropriating culture — but that is not what I am doing in my personal life. I honor your culture and I am grateful to those within Judaism who have encouraged me to explore and celebrate with you. Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.