Romance, Without the Roses: Celebrating the Festive Holiday of Tu B’Av

by Talya Hyman Shalom New Haven Intern

Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of love-- which is named for its date on the Hebrew calendar, the 15th of the month of Av-- will be celebrated this year beginning at sundown on August 15, and throughout the day of August 16. This day of romance dates back to ancient times. During the Second Temple period, unmarried women dressed up in white clothing and went out to the vineyards to dance. Single men watched from the sidelines, and then chose a wife for themselves.
Though not as commercial a holiday as the popularly celebrated Valentine’s Day, the festive and romantic nature of Tu B’Av is still recognized within modern Israeli society. Music and dance performances are held throughout the country, and many couples choose this date for their weddings. 
While this holiday of love need not be observed with red roses and chocolate covered strawberries (or dancing in a white dress!), take advantage of Tu B’Av to share your appreciation of a loved one and spread just a little bit more kindness out to the world. Isn’t that, after all, the real meaning of what it means to love? 
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