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Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel and for Reform Jews and other progressive Jews around the world who adhere to the Biblical commandment) or eight days for Orthodox, Hasidic, and most Conservative Jews (in the diaspora).

In Israel, Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with the first and last days celebrated as legal holidays and as holy days involving holiday meals, special prayer services, and abstention from work; the intervening days are known as Chol Ha Moed ("Weekdays [of] the Festival").The Passover ritual, prior to Deuteronomy, is widely thought to have its origins in an apotropaic rite, unrelated to the Exodus, to ensure the protection of a family home, a rite conducted wholly within a clan.Hyssop was employed to daub the blood of a slaughtered sheep on the lintels and door posts to ensure that demonic forces could not enter the home.Historically, together with Shavuot ("Pentecost") and Sukkot ("Tabernacles"), Passover is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire population of the kingdom of Judah made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which typically falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar.

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