Why do we observe Lag BaOmer with bonfires?
Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer. It corresponds to the 18th day of the Hebrew month Iyar.
Lag BaOmer is not mentioned in the Torah and only hinted at in the Talmud. Consequently, there is no formal ritual, but rather a series of customs. In Israel, parties and picnics abound and many attend evening bonfires. The Jewish historian Josephus recorded Lag BaOmer as the date in 66 C.E. when the revolt against Rome began. There was a great victory on that day. It is therefore likely that the bonfires of today commemorate the bonfires kindled almost two thousand years ago in celebration of successful Jewish resistance to oppression.