This year, Tu B’Shevat fell on February 11. I had a post prepared and I had planned to post it on the 10th, but due to cancelled flights, etc., I got sidetracked.
Tu B’Shevat is the New Year for trees. “Tu” is the Hebrew letters which represent the number 15. So the holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. At this time of year, the buds are beginning to come out in Israel.
The way the holiday is celebrated is to eat some fruit on this day. Best if you can get some of those fruits for which Israel is famous: olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.
The blessing on fruit:
Ba-ruch atah Ado-nai, Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, borei pri ha-etz.
[Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.]
If tasting a fruit for the first time in its season, recite the Shehecheyanu blessing before saying the fruit blessing:
Ba-ruch a-tah Ado-nai, Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-ye-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.
[Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.]
This is a festive holiday (and healthy!).