Like many Jewish holidays, Shavuot has layers of history and ritual practice as we move through history. Coming from the Hebrew word shavua, or week, Shavuot celebrates the end of 49 days from the Exodus from Egypt and the arrival at Mount Sinai. For the wandering Israelites it was a time of uncertainty and fear of what comes next. During the times of the Temple in ancient Jerusalem, Shavuot was a harvest holiday. The seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot represented the amount of time for new wheat to grow and be harvested. It was traditional to bring bikkurim, or the first fruits of the land, as an offering to the Temple.
Now Shavuot has come to mean eating dairy and staying up late at night studying Torah, which really means any kind of Jewish or Jew-ish learning. Some families have a custom of letting kids eat dessert all night long to sweeten the experience. Others have Jewish themed movie nights or board games. However you choose to celebrate Shavuot this year, may it be a sweet experience for you and your family.