Despite COVID cases climbing rapidly across New York State around 30,000 people descended on a tiny Orange County village for what's called the largest party of its kind in the United States.

A festive Jewish Holiday began Wednesday night at sundown. Celebrations for Lag BaOmer were held across New York State, including small bonfire celebrations in Rockland County and also in Brooklyn, New York.

But the biggest celebration in the United States was held in Orange County.

If you are unfamiliar, Lag BaOmer, (pronounced Lag-Bay-Oh-Mehr) is a Jewish holiday that's celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, according to The holiday pays tribute to  Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who died on the date about 19-hundred years ago.

Large Hasidic Gathering in Orange County, New York

Rockland Video
Rockland Video

"Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer count—this year, May 19, 2022—is a festive day on the Jewish calendar. It is celebrated with outings (on which children traditionally play with bows and arrows), bonfires, parades and other joyous events," Chabad states about the holiday. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who lived in the second century of the Common Era, was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the Kabbalah, and is the author of the classic text of Kabbalah, the Zohar. On the day of his passing, Rabbi Shimon instructed his disciples to mark the date as 'the day of my joy.'"

Around 30,000 Celebrate in Kiryas Joel

The "day of joy" is celebrated around the world, including at Kiryas Joel in Orange County, New York. The celebration at Kiryas Joel is billed as the largest party of its kind in the United States, Mark Lieb who attended the Orange County celebration told Hudson Valley Post in an email.

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