The Jewish Festival of Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day after Yom Kippur, providing a striking transition from one of the most solemn holidays in the Hebrew calendar to one of the most joyous. This year Sukkot begins in the evening of Sunday, September 30 and ends in the evening of Sunday, October 7. The word “Sukkot” means “booths,” and refers to the temporary dwellings that Jews are commanded to live in during this holiday. “Sukkah” is the singular designation, while “Sukkot” is the plural form. The name of the holiday is frequently translated “The Feast of Tabernacles.”
Like Passover and Shavout or Pentecost, Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. The holiday commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Sukkot is also a harvest festival, and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering. The festival of Sukkot is instituted in Leviticus 23:33. No work is permitted on the first and second days of the holiday. Work is permitted on the remaining days. These intermediate days on which work is permitted are referred to as Chol Ha-Mo’ed, as are the intermediate days of Passover.
This festival is to be a seven-day festival just as the Festival of Unleavened Bread and as with the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the number seven is significant. It pertains to perfection and bringing to an end but, moreover, when this festival ends, the Feast of The Eighth Day begins, which pictures an ending of the old order and the beginning of the new. These shelters were not for the purpose of physical protection from the weather; they were to be a yearly reminder of what God had done for Israel when he brought them out of Egypt. Moreover, they were prophetic and symbolic of something far more important than physical protection from the weather.
Hebrew4Christians.com points out the application of the Sukkot to the Christian faith:
“From a spiritual perspective, Sukkot corresponds to the joy of knowing your sins were forgiven (during Yom Kippur), and also recalls god’s miraculous provision and care after the deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Prophetically, Sukkot anticipates the coming kingdom of Yeshua, the Messiah, when all nations shall come up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord during the festival. Today sukkot is a time to remember God’s sheltering presence and provision for us to start the New Year. In light of the work of Yeshua, as our Kohen Gadol (High Priest) of the New Covenant, we now have access to the Heavenly Temple of God. We are now members of the greater Temple of His body; we are now part of His great Sukkah.”