Each fall Jews build strange-looking booths and move in for a few days. People try to spend as much time as they can in there – eating, studying, shmoozing, and even sleeping. A lot depends on where you live – I remember mostly cold and rainy Sukkot meals with rain drops dripping into chilled chicken soup from soaked branches. But I also remember Sukkot in Israel, where we had run away from the sukkah indoors because of sunshine moving in, making sitting in it unbearable.
You will rejoice in your holidays
It’s such a fun holiday. I guess it brings a child-like joy from spending time outside in more or less comfortable conditions. Some people have huge sukkot or spend time in community ones made to sit hundreds of people. Some or tiny, made on a balcony or driveway.
But one thing connects them all – they are temporary, covered with cut off branches and leaves, and are decorated. It’s the decoration that makes each sukkah unique. There are the posters made by kids years ago and preserved with love. Laminated posters showing famous rabbis, Jerusalem Temple, or all the needed blessings to pronounce when celebrating the holiday. You also can’t forget about the colorful chains just under the schach (covering), which looks very similar to those sold in December.
Make it beautiful!
One principle leads all of the efforts to decorate our sukkot: hidur mitzvah. This rule makes us do whatever we can to beautify all objects used to fulfill a mitzvah. Hence all the beautiful kiddush cups, Shabbat candelabras, embroidered challah covers, or Pesach seder plates.
Anyone who builds a sukkah, puts an effort to decorate it. Each one is unique, showing how special different families are or what’s the tradition they are part of. In some sukkot we might see the traditional images of Ushpizin (spiritual guests), great rabbis or Chassidic rebbes, or Hebrew blessings and Torah quotes related to the holiday. In others, there might be colorful tapestries and art. I had a friend who used to make a mini-living room in her sukkah, including a carpet, a wicker settee, and… a fireplace! There were also hundreds of tiny lights at the schach. You can do whatever you want in your sukkah to make it feel yours.
Let’s the decorations begin!
I would love to share with you a few ideas for decorating your sukkah. Depending on where you live, you might need to consider two things: wind and rain. It’s worth choosing decorations that are easy to tie down, and which survive a rainy night. I’ve created a number of designs that are available on hundreds of products. First, I will show you the designs, then examples of products that could be of interest to you. Most of them relate directly to Sukkot, but I included also other designs that match the theme or season (like New Year greetings). I also encourage you to surf around my other designs, as there are so many other designs that could be used in your sukkah. I think Birkat ha-Bayit (Blessing for the Home) is a lovely idea for a sukkah, and some of them are also blessings welcoming a guest (see the last three designs below).
Tapestries and other textiles
Another good idea is to use a top sheet or curtains. Some fabrics can even be used as walls for your sukkah, if big enough.
Take a look at a few examples of tapestries and other fabrics for an easy and big-scale decor:
Wall Art that will survive more than five minutes
If you don’t have heavy rains in the forecast, a framed poster should survive. Even better – images printed on plastic or metal. They will serve you for many years to come and some of the more “neutral” designs you might want to have around all year round.
Around the Sukkot table
Meals in the sukkah are just wonderful. The camp-like feeling, the excitement, the festive atmosphere… we all love it! It’s worth adding to the festive feelings by setting the table with unique tableware. From challah cover, through tablecloths, paper plates to napkins. There are also kitchen towel for your guests to use after the netilat yadaim (washing of hands) and delightful aprons to prepare all the delicious meals in! Oh, and don’t forget your morning coffee, too.
Creating a cozy oasis in your sukkah
Taking an example from my old friend and her ‘salon in the sukkah’, why not creating a cozy corner with rugs or picnic blankets, floor pillows, sling chairs, throw pillows, and warm blankets? It will make it easier to spend hours upon hours in your booth! It might be also a fantastic adventure for your kids! Make a comfy nest for stories, talks, and many happy memories.
Find unique Sukkot decor right here!
Did you find something you like? Would you like to see more? Click on the links below: