Havdalah, meaning separation is a Jewish religious ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and ushers in the new week. The ritual involves lighting a special havdalah candle with several wicks, blessing a cup of wine and smelling sweet spices. Shabbat ends on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky. Some communities delay the Havdalah in order to prolong Shabbat.
As for kiddush, havdalah is recited over a cup of kosher wine or grape juice, although other beverages may be used if wine or grape juice are not available. Spices, called besamim in Hebrew, often stored in an artistically decorative spice container in order to beautify and honor the Mitzvah, are handed around so that everyone can smell the fragrance. In many Sephardi and Mizrahi communities, branches of aromatic plants are used for this purpose, while Ashkenazim have traditionally used cloves. A special braided Havdalah candle with more than one wick is lit, and a blessing is recited. If a special havdalah candle is not available, two candles can be used, and the two flames joined when reciting the blessing.
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