How Do You Celebrate Tu BiShvat?
Every year on Tu BiShvat we contribute money to the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an organization devoted to reforesting Israel. I bet you didn’t know that Israel has no naturally existing forests; they are all planted by man. Since its inception in 1901, JNF has planted over 260 million trees, and I like to think that our family has played a small role in this achievement. I encourage others to do the same this Tu BiShvat,
I read up on the halachos related to the chag such as maser of fruits,
We eat bokser (carob) on Tu BiShvat.
On Tu BiShvat there is a minhag to eat esrog jam. We do this every year, so our neighbors give us their esrogim instead of discarding them and we end up making a lot of jam. Relating to the esrog, some say that on this day you should daven that you pick out a good esrog for the next Sukkos.
We follow the custom of eating fruits from the shivas haminim: wheat, barely, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
When I was a child living in Israel, Tu BiShvat was celebrated more than it is here in America. In Israel we are busy planting trees and cleaning up parks and beaches. In general, it is seen as a day of environmental awareness and appreciation.
I read somewhere that some people hold a Seder and it has some Kabbalistic elements to it. The guests drink four cups of wine: white to symbolize winter, white with some red to symbolize the upcoming spring, red with some white to symbolize early spring, and red wine to symbolize spring and summer.
I eat almonds since the almond tree is known to be the first tree to sprout, two months before any other tree.
We buy exotic fruits and the shivas haminim for a fruit party!