Celebrating Sigd | The Jewish Agency - U.S.Celebrating Sigd

Celebrating Sigd

A Jewish biblical holiday

Sigd is a Jewish holiday that was preserved by Ethiopian Jews for centuries and is a day of fasting, purification and renewal. It centers on the idea of accepting the Torah and yearning for Israel and Jerusalem. The holiday serves as another, more public layer beyond the private introspection of Yom Kippur.

Celebrate Sigd in your community with our wide range of resources!

Our Sigd 101 powerpoint and the accompanying talking points offer a crash course on Sigd that you can use to teach others about the important holiday. Download Sigd materials


Watch a video about Sigd and download it to share with your community:

The Sigd holiday falls 50 days after Yom Kippur, on the 29th of Cheshvan on the Hebrew calendar, which is thought to be the date when God first revealed himself to Moses.

In Ethiopia, on the day of the holiday, the community fasts before ascending a high mountain. At the top, the Qesoch (Jewish leaders/rabbis) do a public reading of the giving of the Torah. At the end of the ceremony, they blow trumpets and declare their desire to celebrate next year in Jerusalem. Following this, the community descends to the village singing and dancing.

In Israel, in 2008, Sigd was established by law as an official national holiday. The Sigd ceremony is held at Armon Ha’Natziv, a promenade that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem.

Today, celebrating Sigd is as relevant as ever
as it’s an opportunity to integrate the unique traditions of the holiday preserved by Ethiopian Jews and create a multicultural and diverse Israeli society that reflects and is accepting of all its people. Additionally, as the root of the Sigd holiday is about longing for Jerusalem, world Jewry can relate to this idea as they are living outside of Israel. And that’s why Jews need to keep celebrating Sigd even in Jerusalem, once the dream of reaching it is a reality—because there are still other Jews who long to be in Jerusalem who have not yet fulfilled the dream.


These resources can be customized and personalized when sharing them with your communities. Should you need assistance, click here to send us an email with your request.

personal perspectives

Pnina Gaday Agenyahu, Director of The Jewish Agency's Partnership2Gether Global Network, reflects on how the Ethiopian community unites for Sigd celebrations and Sigal Kanotopsky, The Jewish Agency’s Northeast Regional Director for the U.S., shares how she's brought Sigd to America.