Celebrate the Jewish Holiday of Tu Bishvat a New Year for the Trees

Plant a Tree, Enjoy Seasonal Offerings and More Ways to Celebrate Tu B'Shvat with your Family

By Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas December 30, 2023

Tu Bishvat, the Jewish celebration often referred to as the New Year of the Trees or birthday for the trees, is a vibrant ode to nature and renewal. Falling on the 15th day of the month of Shevat, this symbolic event marks the beginning of spring in Israel, signifying the resurgence of trees after a chilly winter. The festivity, starting on the evening of January 24, 2024, and concluding at sundown on January 25, 2024, is a dynamic fixture on the Jewish calendar, with dates fluctuating annually between January and February. Mark your calendars for February 12-13, 2025, for next year's Tu B'Shvat celebration.

Despite being a minor Jewish holiday, Tu Bishvat offers an excellent opportunity for families to come together and revel in the wonders of the natural world. Seize the spirit of the day by engaging in eco-friendly activities with your children. Consider planting saplings or trees, creating a meaningful and symbolic connection to nature and the environment.

To enhance your family's Tu B'Shvat experience, consider organizing a special meal or Seder incorporating a delightful array of fruits, nuts, and wine or grape juice for the kids. Explore the richness of Jewish culinary traditions with recipes that showcase the season's abundance.

Tu B'Shvat is not just a celebration; it's an opportunity to connect with the earth through various activities. Whether you opt for working in the garden, savoring fruits and nuts indigenous to Israel, or finding unique ways to express your appreciation for trees and the environment, the celebration possibilities are as diverse as the ecosystems we aim to honor.

Infuse the day with creativity by involving your children in tree-themed crafts and exploring books that celebrate trees and the beauty of nature. Tu Bishvat, essentially, becomes a Jewish Earth Day or Arbor Day, fostering a sense of responsibility and appreciation for our planet.

Keep in mind that Tu Bishvat may be spelled differently, such as Tu B'Shvat or Tu B'Shevat, with all variations pronounced "Too Bish-VAHT." Embrace this linguistic flexibility as you immerse yourself in the joy of this unique and eco-conscious holiday.

As you embark on your Tu B'Shvat celebration, may it be filled with joy, connection, and a deep appreciation for the natural world. For more information, resources, recipes, and crafts related to Tu B'Shvat, continue reading our comprehensive guide.

Aamulya from Getty Images via Canva

Celebrate with Kid-Crafts, Recipes and more:

Enjoy a Tu Bishvat Sedar

A one way to engage your kids during Tu Bishvat is with a celebratory feast modeled after the Passover Seder. Participants can read selections from the Hebrew Bible and enjoy fruits and nuts traditionally associated with the land of Israel like olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.

Adult participants also drink four cups of wine to symbolize: 

  • White wine - to symbolize winter
  • White with some red - the coming of spring
  • Red with some white - early spring
  • Red only - to symbolize spring and summer

Option for kids:  Use white and purple Grape juice, apple or other juices in place of wine

Another way to celebrate Tu Bishvat is by planting trees at home, in Israel or locally. If you cannot plant a tree consider planting parsley seeds; the parsley once grown then can be used on your Passover Seder plate in the spring.

Resources for Grown-ups to learn more:

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Jewish Holidays