Each year, Jewish families remember their ancestors’ exodus from Egypt by living in temporary outdoor shelters for a week. These structures, sukkot (sukkah singular), are often made of fabric walls and a roof of palm branches or woven grass mats. There is no singular design, however, and each family is free to create their own sukkah according to guidelines developed by rabbis over the last 3,000 years.
Once it is built, most families decorate their sukkah with paper chains, hanging fruit, and colorful posters. It is not required to sleep in the tent, but during the day they will live inside the sukkah and share the holiday meals together there. For complete instructions on building a sukkah and the symbolism of each component, click here.