First, you might want to check out this post about the Hebrew calendar (which is quite different from the one we all follow). Get it? Good.
Passover, which commemorates the Israelites' departure from Egypt as described in the book of Exodus (Specifically Exodus 5-14), is celebrated for seven days, from the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan until the 21st.
The regulations for this holiday are expressed several times in the Old Testament - the first time in Exodus 12:14-20. The main one is that nothing leavened is to be eaten - or even found in the home - during the entire weeklong celebration. Observant Jews will thoroughly clean their homes, attempting to remove every crumb of bread, cracker, cake, etc to follow the commands of Exodus 12:15.
The formal Passover meal is called a Seder (which, in Hebrew, means "order."). Generally, at least with my family as I grew up, there would be two of these each Passover, and they were quite elaborate and structured (the meal isn't called "order" for nothing!). The Seder instructions can be found in a book called a Haggadah ("telling" in Hebrew). Jews considered reading through the Haggadah as a fulfillment of the Lord's command to tell their children what happened during the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 13:8).
Some of the Seder highlights include drinking four cups of wine (or grape juice if you're little :D), the youngest member of the family's recitation of the Four Questions, spilling a bit of said wine ten times - once for each of the ten plagues, opening the door for Elijah, and MUCH singing. There is also, on the table, a cup of wine for Elijah (this is in reference to the Messiah as mentioned in Malachi 4:5), a Seder plate with many symbolic items on it, and a stack of three pieces of matza.
In all honesty, it could easily take me an entire week of posts - long ones - to cover this holiday and all the traditions, symbolism, and such. So, I'm just giving you a few highlights here. Please check out the links I have included for more information - or ask in the comments if something in particular intrigues you. I'd be glad to answer. (There are also MANY messianic implications in this holiday. Amazing stuff)
And, for MORE of your listening pleasure - a favorite song from the end of the Seder, called Chad Gadya (One Little Goat)- click on the title to see the lyrics - in English and Hebrew.
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths