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Every now and then I blog about the various holidays and traditions associated with countries or religions around the world. During my lifetime attitudes have changed considerably and the norm in my world is that people are people regardless of race, religion, colour or any other unique characteristic.

Understanding the various traditions and cultures from around the world helps us to learn tolerance and embrace other cultures.

Today the topic of this blog is Passover ... which is a Jewish festival celebrating the seven day Feast of the Unleavened Bread which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of firstborn sons. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover".

When Pharaoh freed the Hebrews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is also called "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread". Matza (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday.