What is Tu Bi'Shvat?
This weekend, Jews all around the world will celebrate Tu Bi'Shvat, also known as the 'New Year of the Trees'. Its observance starts at sunset of the 16th of January. In the State of Israel, Tu Bi'Shvat is celebrated as the country's ecological awareness day and Arbor Day, a day devoted to raise awareness about the environment, and is marked by eating produce and plating trees.
Rabbis of the Talmud established 4 new years in the Jewish calendar, one of which is Tu Bi'Shvat. Rabbis of old explained their decision by saying that the 15th of Shevat falls after mid-winter, which means that all rain of the time have fallen, thus making the soil healthy and ready for planting trees and other crops. Kabbalists gave the observance higher spiritual significance by parallelizing seeds of fruits to the Divine Spark that is present in all. Kabbalists would eat fruits and other crops associated with Israel as a symbol of releasing the Divine Spark.