The second pilgrimage feast is Shavuot. The Feast of Weeks (Greek name: Pentecost). Shavuot marks the end of the counting of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot. A Jewish festival that celebrates the day of the Ten Commandments – the foundation of Jewish written and oral law – were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. It falls in May or June, on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. The holiday is also called Feast of Weeks because it comes seven weeks, or “a week of weeks”, after the first day of Passover.
The ancient Hebrews celebrated Shavuot as a harvest festival (harvest of wheat and fruit). They made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple. During the festival today, Jews read the Book of Ruth from the Bible. The book is set during the spring harvest.
There are five names for Shavuot:
1. Chag Hakatzir – The Festival of Reaping
2. Chag Hashavuot – The Festival of Weeks
3. Chag Habikurim – The Festival of the First Fruits
4. Atzeret – The Conclusion. The Talmud gives it this name.
Shavuot is the conclusion to the holiday of Pesach much
like Shemini Atzeret is the conclusion of Succoth.
5. Zman Matan Torah – The Time of the Giving of the Torah.
The Talmud suggests that the Ten Commandments were
given on the 6th of Sivan.
It is traditional to eat dairy meals during Shavuot.