Shavuot Customs


Synagogues are decorated with greenery to stress the harvest festival. Some put grass on the floor to commemorate the grass on which the Israelites stood as they received the Torah. Sweet-smelling herbs and grasses may be given out during services.

Reading the Book of Ruth

Among Ashkenazim, the book of Ruth is traditionally read at in the synagogue. The harvest setting is considered appropriate for the agricultural theme of the holiday, and Ruth was an ancestor of King David (see below).

Dairy Foods

Cheese Blintzes (Jewish crepes with filling) and cheese cake are traditional, along with other dairy foods. Kreplach, a three-sided delicacy, are also customary.


Two loaves of hallah bread are prepared, to remember the two tablets of the Ten Commandments and the two loaves which were offered in the Temple.

Study Circles

Pious Jews may attend special "study circles" in which they study sacred literature til dawn on the Eve of Shavuot.