Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday 2020: what is it, why is it celebrated and how long does it last?

Rosh Hashanah means the "head of the year" and is a celebration of the Jewish New Year. In 2020 this will run from 18-20 September.

Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday 2020: what is it, why is it celebrated and how long does it last?
ODD ANDERSEN AFP

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is one of Judaism’s holiest periods. Meaning “head of the year”, the celebration begins on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, which normally falls during September or October. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.

Rosh Hashanah in 2020

Rosh Hashanah this year began at sundown on 18 September and will finish on nightfall on 20 September. The holiday in 2021 will start earlier with sundown on 6 September marking to start of the period with the conclusion coinciding with nightfall on 8 September.

Traditional food associated with Rosh Hashanah feasts include round challah bread (studded with raisins) and apples dipped in honey, as well as other foods that symbolize good wishes for a sweet year ahead.

Uman Pilgrimage Subdued By Pandemic-Related Travel RestrictionsJewish pilgrims on the relatively empty streets on September 18, 2020 in Uman, Ukraine. Despite travel restrictions imposed by Ukraine meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, a few thousand pilgrims have managed to arrive in Uman for Rosh Hashanah.

Other Rosh Hashanah traditions include the lighting of candles in the evenings, wearing new clothes and desisting from creative work along with visits to the synagogue.