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When are Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Sukkot is a seven day holiday which begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei and concludes on the 21st. Outside of Israel the first two days are major holidays1 and the ensuing five days are Chol Hamoed. In Israel, the first day is a major holiday, and the next six days are Chol Hamoed.


Shmini Atzeret is the 22nd of Tishrei and Simchat Torah is the 23rd of Tishrei. In Israel, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are on the same day, the 22nd of Tishrei. 


For the year 2013, Sukkot starts at sundown, Wednesday, September 18th and continues through Wednesday, September 25th. Shmini Atzeret (in Israel Simchat Torah as well) starts at sundown, Wednesday, September 25th. Simchat Torah (outside of Israel) begins the following nightfall, September 26th, and ends at nightfall Friday, September 27th. [Click here for the exact times of sunset and nightfall for any location.]


The following are the beginning dates for Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah for the next few years:


2014 -- Sukkot: sundown October 8. Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: sundown October 15.


2015 -- Sukkot: sundown September 27. Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: sundown October 4.


2016 -- Sukkot: sundown October 16. Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: sundown September 23.


2017 -- Sukkot: sundown October 4. Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: sundown October 11.


See also What is Sukkot?, How is Sukkot celebrated?What is Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah? and How is Shmini Atzeret celebrated? 

Footnotes

  • 1. Akin to Shabbat, with candle lighting, Kiddush and work prohibitions (except for cooking and carrying). See http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,2210298/What-type-of-work-is-forbidden-on-Shabbat-and-Holidays.html

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Holidays » Simchat Torah
Miscellaneous » The Jewish Calendar

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Sukkot
A seven day autumn festival commemorating the miracle of the Heavenly Clouds which enveloped the Jews while traveling in the desert for forty years. On this holiday we dwell in makeshift booths and shake the Four Species.
Tishrei
The seventh month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which arrives in early autumn, has more holidays than any other month: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
Simchat Torah
An extremely joyous one-day autumn festival following the holiday of Sukkot. In Israel it is the eighth day of Sukkot, outside of Israel it is celebrated the next day, the day after Shmini Atzeret. Every Sabbath we read a portion of the Torah. On this holiday we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle.
Chol Hamoed
(lit. "mundane [days] of the festival"), the intermediate days of the Festivals of Passover and Sukkot. On these days many of the holiday work restrictions are lifted.
Shmini Atzeret
A joyous one-day autumn festival immediately following the holiday of Sukkot. Outside Israel this holiday is celebrated for two days, the second day is known as Simchat Torah.