Shavuot (pronounced shah-voo-OAT) occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. It is the second of three pilgrimage festivals (Passover and Sukkot are the other two). Shavuot commemorates the day God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It also has an agricultural reference, marking a stage in the harvest.
One of the customs of Shavuot is to hold a tikkun, or Torah-based learning session, late into the night. In addition, Jewish tradition tells us that four times during the year, in addition to the anniversary of the death of a loved one, we are to recall the memories of those who have died. These four times, known as yizkor (remembrance), coincide with major holidays on the Jewish calendar. Shavuot is a holiday on which yizkor is traditionally recited.