Pesach in Hebrew.
(This post is going to go all over the place - just a warning. & Just because I do or do not do something does not make it right or wrong - completely. There are many traditions within the spectrum of Judaism & so there are many levels & variations on observance - on everything Passover included.) I will use wiki links for further information, because it seems to lack bias & in general includes biblical references - which should the basis for the answers to the "Why's." As with most sources of information, take what you like & take the rest with salt.
During the seder we ask "Why is this night different from all other nights?"
One of the reasons is that we eat matzo not bread which is chametz. (wiki link) This is why we have been spring cleaning to the nth degree. Pulled out all of the shelves in the fridge, ran the self cleaning mode on the ovens, etc.*
*Not unlike how people clean in general, I am sure that some people did a far thourough job that we did & some quite possibly did less.
Chametz is not to be confused with Kitnyot. (wiki link)
Next is my Seder Menu - I think. (wiki link. Before the actual meal, we will "eat" other items for lack of a better term, ceremonially.)
Matzo ball soup, In the past, I have used from scratch recipes that used ground matzot & boxed mixes that also used ground matzot & both were/are fine. )I have also had chicken or vegeterian soups.) I may still make them because my son likes them. However this year I am going to try something new! My Matzo balls will be made with broken matzot. (Matzot is the plural of matzo & matza, matzoh, matzah are all "correct" spelling variations.) Recipes with or without photos may appear later - if you ask I may indulge...
Roasted Asparagus - may "recipes" methods can be found on the internet - olive oil/salt/pepper roasted in a hot oven for 20-ish minutes.
Sweet Potatoes - probably made with date syrup & spices (or with prunes, carrots, honey & cinnamon - my "old" recipe, called Tsimmes. wiki link.)
Chicken - I was going to try an Israeli recipe, but I was unable to get Sumac (It sold out at the store before I could get some.) So I will make a garlic* chicken.
*Some don’t eat garlic on Passover, to show that they are not among the kind of folks who wanted to return to slavery in Egypt. Wandering in the desert, harvesting that same old mannah every morning and evening, the unbelievers complained that they missed “the cucumbers, leeks, and garlic” of the good old days under Pharaoh. They are in the minority, if based on nothing more than the gammut of Passover recipes that use garlic.
An example is this chicken & garlic recipe that I found on the net. (Mine will be baked.)
Haroset Cake - (Haroset is one of the ceremonial foods in the seder, served on Matzot with horse radish - may favorite part! wiki link - includes recipes & an example of how there are many variations - like what I was saying at the begining. FYI I use jarred Haroset - I like it better than anything that I have made & better that what I have been served that was home made - in general. My MIL uses jarred haroset too.) Unlike many Passover foods that are gluten free, the Haroset cake has gluten, because it uses Matzot.*
*Some do not use matzo as an ingredient in recipes like this. The term used for this type of recipe in Yiddish is gebrochts. (wiki link.) So you will find recipes labeled as gebrochts or non-gebrochts.
During the week of Passover, I will stay home pretending to be a stay-at-home mom cooking & baking everything from scratch. :o)
Passover quilting items:
(Yes, that is my door.)
two table runners representing the 10 plagues. (wiki link)
Just a portion of a holiday's in general quilt.