Passover, the seven-day festival celebrating the Israelites' release and exodus from Egypt, begins this evening at sundown.

Also known as the Festival of Freedom, Passover is the oldest of the Jewish festivals, and probably the best known.

Jews observing the Passover holiday abstain from yeast products, including bread and beer, to commemorate the hasty departure of the Israelites who tradition says had no time to let their bread rise before their hasty departure from Egypt.

The Passover feast, or Seder, has symbolic foods at the family table. Wine, unleavened bread or matzos, and bitter herbs are served to dramatize the Jewish forefathers in Egypt as well as the emancipation from slavery under the leadership of Moses.

The Last Supper, the traditional source of the sacrament of communion, was the special Jewish feast meant to initiate the Passover celebration.

Passover will continue for seven days, and end on the evening of April 22.