There are seven Biblical Feasts and two historical holidays (Chanukkah and Purim) throughout the year and we like to do a ‘little’ decorating for each one. This helps to set the Feast times and holidays apart and make them special. There is a Jewish custom, Hiddur Mitzvah which means, the the beautification of a mitzvah or commandment. I will be writing more about this in future posts. Yahweh made us to have 5 senses and we often don’t use them all in regard to worship and walking in His ways. The Mishkan was beautiful to look at and everything about it had biblical significance. There were things to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, to feel. We believe that Yahweh who designed our bodies understands that we benefit from these sensory stimuli and that they help us to remember what His word teaches us. Here are some ideas for ways that you can decorate your home for the next Biblical Feast
We purchased a couple of strings of holiday lights, 2 white and 2 blue. Then we changed out the bulbs so that each string alternates a white bulb and a blue bulb. We like to hang these inside our home: around windows or draped over a fireplace or swagged above a doorway. We got this idea from our friends Lauren & Bill and it helps to make our home look festive and reminds us that we are part of Yisrael. The lights are a great idea for Chanuukah but it is lovely for the other Feast times as well.
We are in the process of making fabric banners to coincide with each Feast. At the present time we have 3 banners (Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot.) We do have them placed around our home but for each Feast we take the appropriate banner and place in a prominent place in our living room. By putting the Banner in a prominent place, we see the Banner throughout the Feast and our guests will see it too. Often people will ask about it and this opens the door for us to explain the Biblical symbolism that we used when creating the banner.
To see the following banners that we have created follow the links below.
Behold the Lamb
For more information about making banners see our article:
Table centerpieces always look nice for Feast time as at focal point on the table. Often people use blue and white flowers with touches of silver, gold, and green. Some floral departments carry ready made bouquets of flowers with specific accents like plastic dreidels or a star of David or torah scroll. These can be purchased inexpensively and placed in a vase or cut and arranged in wet floral foam (oasis). You can add candles or other items like a small ceramic lamb to help identify which Feast you are celebrating.
I like centerpieces on the table when it is not in use, however, they can block the vision of diners during a meal. So I like to use small vases, glasses or jars with fresh flowers in them and sit these all around the dinner table. Also small votive or tea lights look festive and beautiful without taking up a lot of space or blocking your vision of the person across the table.
I also like to use other items to decorate the table, such as small plastic torah scrolls for Shavuot or little green frogs or lambs for Pesach, plastic shofars for Yom Teruah and little dreidels for Chanukkah.
Name Cards are a nice touch, especially when you are having guests for dinner but they can be a fun way to add a festive touch even when it is just the two of you dining together for the Holiday meal.
Your table setting can be as formal or informal as you like. For children or grandchildren you can use a roll of white craft paper as a table cloth. As part of a home school or learning activity the children can draw pictures of the various themes for the Feast on the paper. It can be decorated with crayons, stickers, markers, or they can glue on pictures that have been printed from the computer. You can write words or Scripture verse references that correlate to each Feast, such as Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot and Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, etc. Also, listing or drawing the main events associated with the Feast or Holiday that you are celebrating and including greetings, like Chag Sameach Pesach, which means Joyous Feast of Passover.
Mantles over a fireplace can be decorated with items that reflect the theme of the Feast, with lights, appropriate plant material, such as barley or hyssop for Passover, wheat for Shavuot, grapes for Sukkot, etc. and other decor items such as candles, oil lamps, figurines, children’s craft projects, etc.
Make a collage specific for each Feast celebration and hang it or display it in a prominent place in your home. This is a fun solo craft project or family activity where everyone can work together. For more information about making a Collage, follow these links:
Poster or Painting
This is similar to the collage but can be drawn or painted using any items you choose. For families with children, what a great way to utilize their desire to create! Just have them make large drawings, paintings, etc on pieces of poster board or foam core board for each Feast. Save them and reuse them each year when the Feast Day cycles around again. Or you could have them make new ones each year.
Set this up in a corner, on a mantle, shelf or small table (card, coffee table, side table, etc.) Use a tablecloth to cover and arrange items that you have in your home, that you can make, purchase, or borrow that relate to the theme of the Feast. Example for Yom Teruah – shofar, open book to an appropriate passage, crown, set up a small chuppah or other wedding image, some replica of an open gate, fall fruits, etc.
Purpose for Visual Items (Banners, Posters, Collages, Remembrance Collections)
To provide decor that is a profession of some of the things that we believe. To visually inspire you to glorify YHWH and to bless His name. To beautify His commandments. To visually remind you / and or your family and friends of some of the “themes” of the Feast that you are observing. This can be used as a learning tool by asking the question, “Why have we included ____________ as apart of this banner, remembrance collection etc.?”