The Three Pilgrim Festivals
are referred to in Hebrew as the "shalosh regalim"
, the three (foot) pilgrimages. All three festivals have both agricultural and national significance.
The Three Festivals consist of Passover (Pesach), the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) and the Feast of Booths (Succoth or Tabernacles).
The name Shalosh Regalim derives its origin from the following Biblical verse:
23:14: Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year.
23:15: The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep; seven days thou
shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, at the time
appointed in the month Abib - for in it thou camest out from Egypt;
and none shall appear before Me empty;
23:16: and the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labours, which thou
sowest in the field; and the feast of ingathering, at the end of
the year, when thou gatherest in thy labours out of the field.
23:17: Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God...
Within the word "regalim" however, is also expressed the idea of a journey on foot or a pilgrimage, an important element in the celebration of these three festivals.
"Three times every year shall your menfolk appear before the Lord your God in the place that He will choose, in the feast of Pesach, in the feast of Shavuot, and in the Feast of Succoth" (Deuteronomy 16:16).
The first pilgrimage feasts begin with Pesach
(seven days in the Land of Israel beginning on 15 Nisan)
The second pilgrimage feast is Shavuot.
The Feast of Weeks (Greek name: Pentecost)
The third pilgrimage feast is Succoth,
a seven-day festival, also known as the feast of Booths