Today, the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Ḥeshvan, is the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd, which Israel made into a national holiday in 2008. Shula Mola explains its significance, and her own associations with the day:
I have a powerful memory of my last Sigd in Ethiopia in November 1983. Sigd is a holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community which takes place 50 days after Yom Kippur each year. Sigd celebrates our connection to Jerusalem; the entire village would go up the nearby mountain—men, women, and children—dressed in our best festive clothes for a day of fasting and prayer. The Kessoch, our religious leaders, read verses from the Torah and prayed for a return to Zion.
I remember many other things from that Sigd. For example, I can still see a woman sitting to the side and scattering grains of wheat on the ground while lamenting in a whisper and crying. At that time I did not really understand what she was doing. Today I know that it was part of the observance of Sigd. On this day we also prayed for the release of the souls of the dead, sprinkling grains of wheat or teff flour for birds to eat so they would fly our prayers to heaven. The holiday of Sigd is not only a gathering of the living, but also a day to remember and be reunited with those that have passed.
The heart of Sigd is in the renewal of the covenants between a person and God, a person and the community, and a person and society.