At the Passover seder table, three matzahs are placed in a stack. Near the beginning of the seder, the middle matzah is broken in two pieces, and the larger piece of this matzah is called the afikomen. It is saved to be eaten after the meal.
Many families have the custom of hiding the afikomen–either the parents hide it and the children search for it, or the children hide it and parents search. A prize is often given to whoever locates this important piece of matzah. The seder cannot continue until the afikomen has been located and consumed.
Pronounced: ah-fee-KOH-men, Origin: Greek, a piece of matzah that is hidden during the Passover seder, found after dinner and eaten as dessert at the end of the meal.
Pronounced: SAY-der, Origin: Hebrew, literally “order”; usually used to describe the ceremonial meal and telling of the Passover story on the first two nights of Passover. (In Israel, Jews have a seder only on the first night of Passover.)