I attended a Passover Seder this week for the first time. It's a ceremonial meal which commemorates the Jews' exodus from slavery in Egypt, with the name "Passover" marking God passing over the homes of the Jews when killing the firstborn of the Egyptians.
It's an event filled with symbols, all meant to explain the story and the sacrifice. (And any event with everyone being required to drink four glasses of wine is probably going to inspire some revelry.)
I found the most striking element of the Seder to be the palpable sense of hope. Even through all these symbols of pain, such as salt water symbolizing the tears of the Jewish people, hope shines through. There's the empty chair and the opening of the door for the prophet Elijah, hoping for his return; there's the conclusion where everyone proclaims "Next year in Jerusalem!"
Speaking of Faith has done several shows and blog posts worth checking out about Passover:
Here's one of my favorite comedians, Mr. Jackie Mason, sharing excerpts from his Passover; the video includes some explanation of the various symbols of the Passover: