For many of us, celebrating Lag BaOmer (observed this year on Thursday night and Friday, April 29-30) has always been easy: Go online, sign up for local Chabad event, don sun hat, eat hot dogs, say Grace After Meals, sing songs, sit too close to bonfire, thank rabbi and rebbetzin, go home.

This year, some us us will still be celebrating at home, far from community and family. How do we proceed? Here are the tools and tips you need to have a rip-roaring inspiration-heavy Lag BaOmer celebration like no other.

Find Your Own Patch of Outdoors

Lag BaOmer is traditionally celebrated by going out to the fields and woods, where you can most easily appreciate G‑d’s magnificent creation. If you can safely make your way to a park in your area, go for it. If not, make do with what you have, whether it’s your backyard or even sitting out among the potted plants on your balcony.

Go Carob Crazy

Many have the custom to eat carobs, which sustained Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai (the hero of Lag BaOmer) for the 13 years he and his son Elazar hid in a cave from their cruel Romans oppressors. Go online and find lots of fun recipes for how you can make hot drinks, cold drinks, cakes, cookies and just about everything out of carobs.

Dye Eggs Red

A relatively unknown custom, which has deep roots in Chabad history, is to eat eggs that have been hard-boiled with onion peels. Try it, and you’ll discover that they turn a pretty shade of reddish brown. It has been postulated that the reason for this custom is that eggs are a sign of mourning. During this holiday, when the traditional mourning of the Omer period has been partially lifted, we still eat eggs, but brighten them up with a splash of color. Get the recipe here.

Hold a Mini Parade

Beginning in the 1950s, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, encouraged Jewish children to march in grand Lag BaOmer parades as a show of Jewish unity and pride. While there may not be a communal Lag BaOmer parade this year, you and your kids can have a great time designing placards, preparing marching tunes, and even designing floats (think radio flyer wagons pulled by tricycles), with which you can bring Lag BaOmer joy to whomever you can safely reach.

(Not yet ready to go all out? You can hold a private screening of this 17-minute collection of footage from the Rebbe’s parade in 1983, which can then be followed by a recital of the 12 Torah passages.)

(Safely) Shoot Bows and Arrows

It is customary to shoot bows and arrows on Lag BaOmer. If you can safely set up an archery range in your backyard, go for it. If you cannot do this safely or easily, consider ordering the dollar-store arrows which come with suction cups instead of sharp tips. Feeling crafty? You can easily make your own bows and arrows with sticks and string. But again, make sure whatever you are doing is safe.

Play Lively Music

A major part of Lag BaOmer is the pleasure of live music, something we have not enjoyed for several weeks. Find some lively Jewish music at or just play your own favorites as loudly as you can without upsetting your neighbors or waking the baby.

Make a Bonfire in a Fire Pit

It is customary to celebrate Lag BaOmer by lighting (and dancing around) bonfires of all sizes. Provided that you can do so safely, making a fire in a fire pit is a relatively inexpensive and safe way to hold your own Lag BaOmer madura (bonfire) in the comfort of your own backyard. If it is your custom, light a candle for the merit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai as well.

Grill Kosher Meat

Many communal Lag BaOmer celebrations include a barbecue, an easy and delicious way to feed large crowds outdoors. There’s no reason not to have your own barbecue. Kosher franks or steaks, depending on your budget and taste, make for a memorable and fun evening in the yard.

Tell Stories

As your kids watch the flames of your bonfire and munch on hot dogs, you can tell them a Jewish story. Here is an index of stories about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who passed away on Lag BaOmer. And here are stories about Rabbi Akiva, whose students stopped dying from plague on this very same day.

Study Zohar

Lag BaOmer is the day when some of the deepest secrets of the Zohar, the foundational text of Jewish mysticism, were communicated. What better activity for your Lag BaOmer celebration (especially for adults) than actually learning some Zohar? We suggest you start with these translated texts.


No matter how large or small, elaborate or simple, your Lag BaOmer celebration is, the main thing is to make it a happy one. This is Rabbi Shimon’s special day, when his life-mission of disseminating the mystical teachings of the Torah was completed. Let’s join him (and our fellow Jews around the world) in celebrating whichever way we can.

Do you have an idea for a creative Lag BaOmer celebration? Please share it with us in the comments section below.