Tu B’Shvat – Jewish Feast – New Year of the Trees

Tu B'Shvat - Jewish Spring Festival - New Year of the Trees

Celebrated at Dalgan Park, Ireland

Tu B’Shvat is a Jewish festival that takes place at the beginning of spring every year. It is referred to as the “New Year for Trees”. It is an ancient tradition which helped fix the age of trees and allow for good ecological practice – determining, for example, when it was appropriate to harvest fruit from a tree according to a seven-year agricultural cycle.

This year Dalgan Park hosted an interfaith celebration of the festival. About 50 from each of the seven faith communities that make up membership of the Dublin Interfaith Forum came along to plant trees and to enjoy the traditional feast of fruit and nuts that is part of the festival.

Here’s a report of the event from Pat Raleigh:

Even the inclement weather caused by Storm Ciara did not deter a large crowd from travelling to Dalgan this afternoon to celebrate an interfaith celebration of Tu B’Shavat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. It was organised by the Dublin City Interfaith Forum. All the representatives of Religious Traditions were present including Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and others. Hillary and her family did a huge amount of preparatory work as did Michael O’Sullivan and Ger Clarke. Both had very tastefully decorated the Mission Awareness Room.

Thankfully the rain eased as the group led by Ger Clarke went to the Eco garden to plant some tree saplings. The great attraction were the two donkeys in the donkey sanctuary. The donkeys trotted over to the group in the hope of getting some carrots.

After the planting of the tree saplings all returned to the Mission Awareness Room for refreshments so creatively prepared by Hilary and her family. The event concluded with some readings and a blessing prayer by myself for the planting of seeds and tree saplings. I invited the various leaders of the various traditions to join Hilary and myself around the table and to give a blessing. It was a lovely afternoon where the people mingled and chatted with each other. All were delighted with Dalgan as the venue.