Samaritan Passover Marked by Slaughter of the Lambs

The Samaritan sect celebrates the holiday of Passover in close adherence to biblical traditions such as sacrificing animals and donning long white robes.

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Members of the ancient Samaritan community, a breakaway from ancient Israelite tribes, attend a Passover pilgrimage to the religion's holiest site of Mount Gerizim on April 27, 2016.
Members of the ancient Samaritan community, a breakaway from ancient Israelite tribes, attend a Passover pilgrimage to the religion's holiest site of Mount Gerizim on April 27, 2016. Credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP
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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The Samaritans offer their traditional Passover sacrifice, which is their parallel ceremony to the Seder meal observed by the Jews.

The ceremony takes places at the holiest site to the Samaritans, Mount Gerizim, where the majority of believers spend the seven days. During the sacrifice they all wear white, the color of freedom by their religion.

Samaritan worshippers ascend Mount Gerizim in their white robes on April 27, 2016.
Samaritan worshippers ascend Mount Gerizim in their white robes on April 27, 2016.Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP

When the priest issues the order, all the sheep are slaughtered all at once.

Members of the Samaritan sect take part in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Passover on Mount Gerizim on April 27, 2016.
Members of the Samaritan sect take part in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Passover on Mount Gerizim on April 27, 2016.Credit: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

Afterwards the Samaritans bless each other and smear their foreheads with blood in memory of the children of Israel who smeared the same on their doorposts so the angel of death would pass over their homes to survive the plague of slaying the firstborn.

Samaritans slaughter sheep and goats at Mount Gerizim in the West Bank as a part of the annual Passover sacrifice, on April 20, 2016.
Samaritans slaughter sheep and goats at Mount Gerizim in the West Bank as a part of the annual Passover sacrifice, on April 20, 2016.Credit: Jaafar AshtiyehAFP

The sacrificial sheep are cooked and consumed without any side dishes in keeping with the teachings of the ancient Torah.  

Samaritans roast the animals after slaughter atop Mt. Gerizim as part of the annual Passover sacrifice, this year's was held on April 20, 2016.
Samaritans roast the animals after slaughter atop Mt. Gerizim as part of the annual Passover sacrifice, this year's was held on April 20, 2016. Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh

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