In honor of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot (this year from sunset on May 30 to nightfall on May 31), Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) opened its photo archive to look back on historic moments captured from First Fruits Festivals in Israel.
Shavuot (“Weeks”) comes seven weeks after Passover and marks religious and agricultural milestones: the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai 3,330 years ago and the end of the annual wheat harvest.
On Shavuot in ancient Israel, farmers would bring an offering of newly harvested grain (“first fruits”) to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in decorated baskets.
After the destruction of the second Holy Temple around 70 CE, the agricultural aspect of the holiday became dormant until early kibbutzniks revived it as a First Fruits Festival to celebrate the return of agriculture to Israel after nearly 2,000 years.
And here is a photo of a First Fruits Festival from May 2013 in Jerusalem.