Tonight the Jewish world will begin to celebrate the week-long Holiday of Succot. In some ways this is the strangest, most peculiar Jewish Holiday in the Jewish Calendar. There's a mitzvah, a Torah commandment to move out of our homes to "hut," aka succah.
At least we're not commanded to move far away and go camping. The succah can be attached to our home, on a deck or terrace or in the backyard or nearby sidewalk.
OK, I don't know of any place that allows them on sidewalks or have large public succot all over besides Israel.
For many, the succah becomes our livingroom, dining-room and bedroom. Though, we are not supposed to stay in the succah if it's raining or snowing, storming etc. Judaism believes in life, not suffering.
Succot is the Holiday of Joy, of praising G-d and thanking G-d for all of the wonderful things He has done for us. It's an anti-materialist holiday to remind us that we don't need a fancy building to worship G-d. Succot commemorates when the Jewish People left the slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt. It was a very traumatic time for the Jewish People. Slavery has the advantage of dependence. The slave owners provide food and shelter, because their slaves are financial assets. Suddenly after generations of slavery, of the ready-made food, replacement clothing (thanks to Atara Snowbell who taught me in Matan) and no need to worry about money, the Jewish People had to learn how to cope as independent individuals and as G-d's People.
Constructing a succah which commemorates the huts the Jewish People lived in while wandering forty years in the desert, we learn to take responsibility for ourselves as G-d's Chosen People.