“Sukkot is an opportunity and excuse for a seven-day picnic.” – Anita Diamant
If you’re a nature lover, the holiday of Sukkot is tailor-made for you.
And because the festival lasts from sunset on Wednesday, September 18th through sundown, Wednesday, September 25th, you have lots of time to celebrate.
During this annual harvest festival, we sometimes eat meals – and even sleep – in temporary outdoor structures called “sukkot” (singular: sukkah).
What if you don’t have a traditional sukkah? No worries. There are still lots of ways to embrace the rhythm of the holiday. Here are some ideas to get you started:
#1 Eat one or more meals outside. If you have a porch, that’ll work. If not, you can bring a picnic to a nearby park.
#2 Decorate your eating area (or sukkah, if you have one) with fall leaves, branches, little pumpkins, squash, apples, and other harvest symbols.
#3 Cook something harvesty, like squash soup, pumpkin muffins, cornbread, applesauce.
#4 Plan a family outing to a farmer’s market to look for recently harvested fruits and vegetables. Also look for corn stalks and Indian corn to decorate your outdoor or indoor eating space.
#5 Make a harvest-themed centerpiece, grouping your farmer’s market finds with fall leaves.
#6 Give your children magazines, so that they can cut out fall-themed pictures to put on the walls of your sukkah (or kitchen). More advanced young artists can turn these into collages.
Bring your imagination
Sukkot commemorates the Israelites’ 40 years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. So when we spend time in a sukkah, we are close to nature. We can imagine being in the wilderness, at the mercy of the elements.
Imagine what it would be like if you had only a roof of cornstalks or branches of leaves over your head, exposed to the wind, the rain, and the cold.
Sukkot decorations and recipe ideas
Check out our Sukkot Pinterest board for lots of ideas about what to cook, how to decorate (including how to make edible sukkot), and much more.
There’s even a nature scavenger hunt pin that you could turn into a Sukkot-themed activity.
Wishing you a chag sameach (happy holiday).
Gmar chatima tovah!
May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.