Burning of leavened food - AFP - April 18, 2011
Ultra-Orthodox Jews burn leavened items in for Passover in Bnei Brak on April 18, 2011. Photo by AFP
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Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews finished their Passover cleaning on Monday in preparation for the start of the holiday at sundown.

During Passover, Jews are forbidden to eat all leavened food, such as bread, in commemoration of the Israelites' departure from Egypt. As described in the Book of Exodus, they did not have time to prepare leavened bread before leaving for the Promised Land.

Observant Jews clean their home for weeks leading up to the holiday, to make sure that not one crumb of leavened food remains.

As part of the cleaning tradition, leftover leavened food is burned before the holiday begins.

Across the country on Monday, one could encounter small fires burning leavened food.