Where Did the Word “Jubilee” For a Celebration Come From and What Does Jubilee Mean In Hebrew?

A jubilee is “a season of rejoicing” and comes from the ancient Hebrews.

Fifty years after the Jews were freed from Egyptian bondage, they created a semi-centennial festival that lasted a full year within which all land would be left fallow and returned to its original owners.

All debts were paid off and all slaves were emancipated.

Declared a year of rest, the jubilee’s arrival every fifty years was announced by the trumpeting of rams’ horns throughout the land.

A ram’s horn in Hebrew is yobhel, which led to the English word jubil or jubilee.

Today there are silver jubilees (twenty-five years), golden jubilees (fifty years), diamond jubilees (sixty years), and platinum jubilees (seventy years).

In 1897, Britain’s Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee throughout the British Empire.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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