Origin and History of Passover in India
Passover is the most joyous occasion amongst all Jewish festivals, commemorated with immense zeal and vigor across Jewish nations in the world. Passover is referred to as Pesach, Festival of Freedom, and The Festival of the Unleavened Bread in different cultures. The holy festival of Passover begins on the 15th day of Nisan (the first month in the Hebrew calendar) that falls in March or April according to the Gregorian calendar. Pesach is a seven to eight day long celebration, during which the Jewish people commemorate the liberation from slavery and the exodus of Israelites from Egypt around 3000 years ago. India is a multi-cultural nation which is world renowned for its unity in diversity. Just like other countries, India has a small population of Jews. There are two kinds of Jews found in India, Bene Israel (located mostly in Mumbai) and Cochin Jews (located in Cochin). Although being a small community in India, they follow their own unique traditions to celebrate Passover.
Local name: Passover
Ways to celeberate Passover in India
Passover in India is a time of great fun and merriment for Indian Jews. The Bene Israel and Cochin Jews celebrate this festival following their age-old traditions. However, some customs have been modified in the Indian style. They serve molagachi (mahogany chicken with black pepper), ellegal (spice-rubbed fish in cool herb salsa), masalachi (mutton braised with garlic and coriander), and appam (coconut crepes with date sauce) in the Seder meal. During the Seder meal, people recite the story of slavery and redemption, and perform prayers. While reciting the 10 plaques, they pour a glass of wine in the basin for every plaque. Indian Jews strictly observe the holy occasion of Sabbath and its customs as well as Kashrut (kosher laws). Some other traditional foods taken during Passover include lamb bone shank and roasted eggs, romaine lettuce, celery, date jam with walnuts, lime juice, and matzo.