Purim: They tried to kill us, we survived. Let’s tell the story, wear silly costumes, and get wasted. (Optional: have a carnival or a play!)
Passover: They enslaved us, God freed us. Remember this via a big ceremony/feast and then don’t eat bread for a week. This is a big one; you’re going to have to clean your house and host all your relatives.
Tu B’Shevat: It’s Earth Day, let’s eat some fruit.
Simchas Torah: We read the entire Torah every year, and we got to the end! Let’s have a dance party and then start all over again!
Tisha B’Av: They destroyed our temples. That sucked.
Rosh HaShanah: Happy New Year! It’s time to ask (and grant) forgiveness for the wrongs done in the past year, pledge to do better, and wish for a sweet new year. And go to synagogue for HOURS.
Yom Kippur: Rosh HaShanah’s somber counterpart. God decides on this day your fate for the next year. Repent your sins, hope for forgiveness, and fast. (And go to synagogue for HOURS.)
Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Sukkot: Harvest festival! Sleep in a hut under the stars.
Shemini Atzeret: Man, I don’t even know?
Shavuot: God gave us the Torah! That was pretty nice of him.
Chanukah: They busted up our temple and tried to forcibly convert us. We responded with guerilla warfare. Let’s eat some fried food. Candles!
So basically the entire Jewish holiday calendar is giving the middle finger to death and high-fiving, with or without various combinations of prayer and foods.
Yup. Or as we say, “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”