Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins Sunday evening and runs through Tuesday evening. It is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar and marks the start of the High Holy Days.
What is the holiday about and how is it observed? Here’s a look at the celebration and the traditions.
What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah means “the head of the year” in Hebrew. It is the start of the observance of the High Holy Days – 10 days of repentance for sins committed during the year. It is also thought to be the day God created Adam and Eve.
What happens during the High Holy Days?
During the High Holy Days, Jews are called to seek forgiveness from others whom they have wronged, to make amends and to resolve to act better going forward. The High Holy Days end with Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the “Day of Repentance.”
When is Rosh Hashanah?
The exact date of Rosh Hashanah varies yearly because it is based on the Hebrew Calendar, but is almost always in September or October.
What do you do on Rosh Hashanah?
Services are held on the two days of Rosh Hashanah. During the service, a hollowed-out ram’s horn is blown. The horn is known as a shofar. Blowing it symbolizes a call to repentance.
Tashlich, which means “casting off,” is also observed. The tradition calls for a person to go to a body of water and throw in pieces of bread. The act symbolizes the washing away of sin.
In addition, there are feasts featuring apples dipped in honey, fish heads, pomegranates, carrots, dates and black-eyed peas, according to Chabad.