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Set: Create a Stunning Seder Table

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The first night of Passover is a night different from all others and the Seder table is no exception. Although it can take time to set the table with all the important symbolic elements (start early and get the kids to help!), it's not hard. Here's a list of what a traditional Seder table includes as well as few tips to make yours simply stunning:

  • The Seder plate, comprised of the customary 5 symbols:
    • "Zeroa," a roasted shankbone
    • "Maror," bitter herbs or horseradish
    • "Karpas," a vegetable such as lettuce or parsley
    • "Betizah," a roasted egg
    • "Charoset," a combination usually of apples, wine, walnuts and cinnamon

    (Tip: the Seder plate is a worthy centerpiece in its own right. For dramatic effect, consider using a decorative platter or unusually shaped plate, such as square)

  • A dish of salt water for dipping the Karpas vegetable
  • Three whole Matzos set before the leader of the Seder and contained typically within a Matzo bag with 3 compartments (for a great craft project, buy a plain Matzo bag and decorate it with sequins, beads, lace––whatever! All it takes is imagination and a glue gun)
  • A napkin, doily, or other piece of cloth to help hide the middle piece of Matzo (called the "Afikoman") from the children
  • Cushioned chairs or a pillow on each chair (sewing or decorating Seder pillows or chair covers is another opportunity for creativity. Consider monogramming them with your guest's initials!)
  • A wine glass ("Kiddush cup") for each guest, or, if you wish, 4 glasses for each guest ––one for each traditional glass of wine (for a little whimsy, dress each one up with a wine charm to help guests distinguish the glasses)
  • A special wine glass set in the center of the table for the symbolic wine for Elijah
  • A pitcher and bowl for washing hands
  • A "Haggadah," a book that tells the story of Passover, for each guest
  • Two candles and candlesticks
  • For extra credit (although not necessary): An arrangement of spring flowers on each side of the Seder plate in the center of the table (use one type of flower only to streamline the arrangement and keep the Seder plate the focal point)
  • Also nice but not necessary: A handwritten or home-printed menu of the night's fare on each guest's plate. To double it as a place card, personalize the menu with the guest's name on top

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