The name of this festival is actually its date: “Tu” is a pronunciation of the Hebrew letters for the number 15, and it falls in the Hebrew month of Shevat. Tu Bish’vat or the “New Year of the Trees” is Jewish Arbor Day. Scholars believe that originally Tu Bish’vat was an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. In the 17th century, Kabbalists created a ritual for Tu Bish’vat that is similar to a Passover seder. Today, many Jews hold a modern version of the Tu Bish’vat seder each year. The holiday also has become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends.
Tu Bish’vat lends itself to many home observations and activities: Tu Bish’vat Activities to do at Home