During the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, one fun way to celebrate the holiday is to build your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit.
Sukkot is an eight day holiday that begins on the fifteenth day of Tishrei, five days after Yom Kippur (between late September and mid-October on the Gregorian calendar). In ancient times, farmers put of Sukkahs, small temporary huts or booths, and harvested their crops. These booths provided shelter and shade for the farmers from the hot sun while harvesting their food.
While Jews today no longer live in their Sukkahs many Jewish families build their own Sukkahs with Sukkah kits. It is a tradition to decorate your own Sukkah, eat your meals in your Sukkah, recite Sukkot prayers in the Sukkah, and if the weather permits, sleep in your Sukkah.
Where to Put Your Sukkah-Deciding on It's Size
Building your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit is a popular option for those who do not have time to go to the store and buy the raw materials and build one themselves. Sukkah kits come in a variety of styles and sizes to fit everyone's needs and budgets.
Before building your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit, you will need to decide where you will place it. A Sukkah, according to Jewish law, must have at least two-and-a-half sides and up to four. One wall can be the side of your house, making the decision on where to place your Sukkah an easier one to make.
Then you have to decide on the size. There is no Jewish law about what size it should be, so that part is up to you. If you plan on just having your family inside it can be smaller. If you plan on having guests over or sleeping in it, then it will need to be larger.
The covering must be sparse enough to see the stars at night. It is okay if some rain gets in, just like it did in the time of our ancestors.
Where to Get Your Sukkah Kits
There are many online stores where you can purchase your own Sukkah kit. You can do a Google search for it and come up with different sites. I suggest you have a pad and pen by your computer and list the store, the sizes, the styles, ease of assembly, and the prices. When you figure out what works best for you, then place your order. Remember that when you build your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit, that it is an investment and if stored properly, will last for years and years.
If you are more creative, you can do a Google search on how to build your own Sukkah without a Sukkah kit.
Decorating Your Sukkah
One of the most fun parts of building your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit is decorating it. This is the part where your children can really be of help.
Jews decorate their Sukkahs with harvest fruit and vegetables. If you do not
want to use real food, then you can buy fake food from the toys section of a store or go to a craft store and buy plastic fruit.
Crafty types can make their own fruit and vegetables out of paper mache. Young children can color in fruit and vegetable shapes with dot markers or stampers, cut them out, hole punch them, and tie with string to hang.
You can also have the children put glue the precut fruit and vegetable shapes and cover with glitter or foil shaped leaves.
A third option is for the children to put fruit and vegetable stickers inside the precut shapes.
A fourth way to decorate fruit and vegetable shapes to hang is to sponge paint them.
Another fun way for kids to decorate is with paper chains. They can use any colors they want, or you can stick to autumnal colors.
Children can make a lulav from brown and green paper made to look like branches. Etrogs can be made by hanging yellow balloons on the wall or by paper mache.
When you build your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit, you can also buy store bought decorations. The best time to look for these is during Chanukah, when stores have decorations alongside Christmas ones. Any decoration in the shape of a Jewish star would be a great addition to your Sukkah.
Electric lights add fun to your Sukkah. Many sites sell lights shaped like chili peppers or M and M's.
Building your own Sukkah with a Sukkah kit and decorating it is a great way to create family memories during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.