When does Passover begin and when does Passover end ?

From a calendrical point-of-view, Passover or Pesach begins at the same time for all Jewish people: either just after sea level sunset or just after nightfall, depending on the authoritative rabiinical opinion one follows, where nightfall in Jewish law is defined as occurring anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour after sea level sunset, depending on one's geographic latitude and where one is located in the world. This means that the exact time for when Passover or Pesach begins will vary depending on one's geographic latitude and location. However, in some Jewish communities, there is a custom to officially begin a Jewish festival and/or holiday by reciting the Yom Tov or festival or holiday blessing and then lighting the two Yom Tov or festival or holiday candles (or vice-versa) anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour before sea level sunset where they are located, depending on one's custom. As for when Passover or Pesach ends, it depends on where a person is located - specifically, whether they are located in or outside of Israel - as well as the opinion of the rabbi that one follows in the stream of Judaism that one follows. As a result, Passover or Pesach is celebrated for seven days by some Jewish people while other Jewish people celebrate Passover or Pesach for eight days. Following are the reasons why:

In the Hebrew Bible, Shemot 12:18 or Exodus 12:18 states when Passover is to be commemorated: "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even". The word "Even" means "Evening" and since the Jewish day begins either at sunset or at nightfall, depending on the authoritative rabbinical opinion one follows, this means that "Even" or "Evening" means either "at sunset" or "at nightfall" and hence is the start of the 15th day of the first month. "One and twentieth" means the twenty-first day of the first month, and "at even" means up to and including the time when either sunset or nightfall occurs, depending on the authoritative rabbinical opinion one follows. Later on in time, names were given to the Hebrew months with the first Hebrew month being named Nissan or Nisan. Therefore, in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, Passover is a seven-day festival that is always commemorated and celebrated from the 15th day of Nissan or Nisan up to and including the 21st day of Nissan or Nisan. These dates are fixed in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar. This was the original length of days for the Passover festival and was followed by the Jewish people who lived in Israel. However, for Jews living outside Israel, Passover was commemorated and celebrated for eight days from about the time just before the start of the Common Era onward. Why is that?

The Knesses HaGedolah, or Great Assembly in Hebrew, also known by its Greek name, the Sanhedrin - the legislative body and Supreme Court of the Jewish people, located in Jerusalem, Israel - used a system of observations and mathematical calculations to determine when the New Moon occurred which indicated the start of a new month. When the New Moon occurred, the dates for any festivals and holidays occurring in that new month were able to be calculated and determined by the members of the Sanhedrin. Once the dates were determined, special messengers were sent out to inform the dates to first the people of Jerusalem, then the people of Israel as a whole, then finally, the outlying Jewish communities. However, due to the uncertainty of receiving information about the dates before the proper day to commemorate those dates, Jewish communities located in areas beyond Israel chose to commemorate two consecutive days of either a festival or holiday to ensure that they would commemorate the festival or holiday on its proper day. When the modern Hebrew/Jewish calendar was established in either 358 C.E. or 359 C.E. by Rabbi Hillel II, calculations had become precise enough to know the proper time to commemorate festivals and holidays among other Jewish rituals for all Jewish communities but the rabbis of the time retained and instituted the eighth day of Passover for Jewish communities outside of Israel to religiously distinguish Jews living outside of Israel from Jews living in Israel by making Jews living outside Israel more aware that they have not yet returned to live in the Holy Land.

In the Gregorian or Christian calendar, the dates for Passover change from year to year since the Hebrew/Jewish calendar is not the same length as the Gregorian calendar, the former being shorter in length than the latter and needing to "catch up" to the latter by adding a month every three years. This "catching up" prevents the dates for Passover in the Gregorian calendar from constantly drifting backwards in that calendar, keeping the dates for Passover occurring either in March or April, the springtime season, when the original or first Passover occurred.

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