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The Festival of Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery which occurred on the day following their very frrst experience of Passover. On the occasion of the last of the ten plagues that God brought upon Egypt, the Israelites escaped the death of the firstborn by sacrificing a lamb and applying its blood to the doorposts and lintels of their houses so that God could "pass over" them. Then, during that night of terror in Egypt, the Israelites ate the roasted lamb along with unleavened bread (matzah) and bitter herbs. The following morning, Pharaoh relented and ordered the Israelites to leave Egypt. For over 3,400 years since that time, the Jewish people have faithfully obeyed God's instructions and have observed the Passover each year on the fourteenth day Nisan, the first month of the Jewish religious calendar.