Begins at sundown on October 4. Shemini Atzeret (שמיני עצרת) literally means "the assembly of the eighth (day)" and occurs on the 22nd day of Tishrei. Even though Shemini Atzeret immediately follows the festival of Sukkot, it is a totally separate holiday. Sukkot is a holiday intended for all of mankind, but when Sukkot is over, the Creator invites the Jewish people to stay for an extra day, for a more intimate celebration. Shemini Atzeret is an unusual holiday in that it has no distinctive observances of its own, apart from the re-introduction of Tefillat Geshem (the Prayer for Rain) into the 2nd blessing of the Amidah.