On Yom HaShoah, the international Jewish community will pay their respects to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust under Nazi Germany rule. The name Yom HaShoah originates from the Hebrew word Shoah, meaning catastrophe. The solemn day has been held annually since 1951 and was made a legal act of remembrance by Israel’s government in 1959. Commemoration events will be held across the world including the UK.
When is Holocaust Remembrance Day? When does Yom HaShoah start and end?
This year’s Yom HaShoah starts at sundown on Wednesday, May 1, lasting until nightfall the next day on Thursday, May 2.
Yom HaShoah normally falls on the 27th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish calendar.
This is either April or May in the Gregorian calendar but the individual dates will vary.
If 27th of Nisan happens to be a Friday, the event is moved to Thursday or if it is Sunday, it is switched to a Monday.
How is Yom HaShoah marked?
Traditionally, ceremonies are held and candles will be lit as the testimonies of survivors are heard.
Prayers will also be said for the victims and may include the Mourner’s Kaddish, a powerful prayer said in memory of the dead.
Memorial services are held across the world with Jerusalem holding its national ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial.
A siren is usually sounded for two minutes across the country.
All other activities come to a stop as people pay their respects.
In the UK, a Yom HaShoah commemoration service will be held at 11.30am on Sunday, May 5 at the National Holocaust Memorial Gardens in Hyde Park, London.
What is the difference between Yom HaShoah and the United Nations’ Holocaust Remembrance Day?
Yom HaShoah should not be confused with the United Nations-organised International Holocaust Remembrance Day held annually on January 27.
This is a chance for people around the world irrespective of faith or religion to remember the Holocaust and its victims.
In the UK, the event commonly goes under the name of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).