How to Greet Someone on Sukkot

Traditional ways to wish others a joyous holiday.

Sukkot is a joyous holiday celebrating the fall harvest. The booths (called sukkahs) that Jews build during this week-long festival are reminiscent of the booths ancient farmers used to sleep right in their fields during harvest season. They also commemorate the 40 year period during which the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, sleeping in tents. Part of Sukkot is spent in synagogue at prayer, and much of it is spent eating, drinking, sleeping, and generally dwelling in the sukkah. But wherever you happen to meet people during this particularly joyous holiday, it’s nice to know how to greet then.

Here are some ways you can greet someone on Sukkot:

  • Moadim L’simcha (Moh-ah-DEEM Le-sim-CHAH) is used on both Sukkot and Passover, particularly the intermediate days of the festival. The traditional response is chagim u’zmanim l’sasson (khag-EEM oo-zmahn-EEM le-sah-SOWN).
  • Chag Sameach (khahg sah-MAY-akh) literally means ‘happy holiday’ and applies to most Jewish holidays.
  • Gut Yontiff (goot YUHN-tiff) is a yiddishized version of the Hebrew phrase yom tov meaning ‘good day’ and referring to any major holiday on which work is traditionally forbidden.

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