Tu B’Shevat is on January 31st this year. This “New Year of the Trees” is observed on the fifteenth (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Scholars believe that Tu B’Shevat was originally an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., and the exile which followed, this holiday was a way for Jews to symbolically bind themselves to their former homeland by eating foods that could be found in the land of Israel. In the seventeenth century Kabbalists created a ritual for Tu B’Shevat similar to the Passover seder.
Today, Tu B’Shevat has also become a tree planting festival in Israel, in which both Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of a loved one or friend. To plant a tree in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one, please visit the Jewish National Fund’s website at
Source: Union for Reform Judaism