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.