The Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day, also known as Yom HaShoah, is commemorated every year by Jews to pay tribute and homage to their Jewish ancestors who were victims of the Holocaust between 1993 and 1945. 

Often used interchangeably, Yom HaShoah and Holocaust Memorial Day (which falls on January 27) are two different events observed every year to remember the Jews who were brutally killed in the Holocaust.

The term comes from the word ‘shoah’, a term in the Hebrew language that refers to ‘whirlwind’.

When is Yom HaShoah?

The day was officially established in 1959 in Israel. Ever since then, it has served as an important event to remember the people lost during the genocide.

Yom HaShoah is observed on a different date each year. In 2022, it will commence at sunset on April 27 and conclude on the evening of April 28. 

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How is it observed? 

A typical Yom HaShoah consists of memorial services, prayers, lighting of candles, and ceremonial events. Since the pandemic, most of its events have occurred online. This year, a live ceremony will be conducted on the official website of Yom HaShoah. 

In Israel, public areas of entertainment such as clubs, theatres, and cinemas are shut down on this day. In the morning, citizens observe two minutes of reflection as a siren blares throughout the nation. 

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The practice of an air raid siren has been going on since the early 1960s. The objective of the siren is to briefly halt traffic and observe two minutes of silence. As it blares throughout Israel, pedestrians and drivers of vehicles stop and remember the millions who died. 

In the United States, Jews observe the day in a synagogue. Events such as vigils and educational programs are often conducted on this day.