It's time to celebrate Tu B'shvat. What is Tu B'shvat you ask? The celebration of the trees. A new year for the trees, if you will. If it weren't complicated enough that Judaism is on a totally separate calendar than the rest of the world, we'll add some additional confusion by claiming to have four different new year's. This is one of them. While it's not the most significant (that being Rosh Hashana) it's still important.
There are lots of laws in the Torah regarding what you should do with your harvest and your trees. When the temple was still in existence, we had specific tithes that we needed to set aside, as well as sacrifices. It's also a law not to take the fruit of a tree for the first three years it's planted, so this is the 'new year' for all the trees. If you planted it three years ago, now is the year to eat.
As you can see from the beautiful Infographic below (thanks aish!) it's a fun holiday to celebrate. When else do you get to concocte such an exciting menu full of fruits and veggies, and enjoy time out in the sun?
Speaking of menus, Chai and Home has a lovely menu planner printable. Perfect for you to remember which dish coordinates with which species.
I'll be throwing my first Tu B'shvat dinner this year. Have you thrown one? Any advice?