When is Rosh Hashanah and how long does it last?
It is a significant holiday in the Jewish calendar and marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, which culminate with Yom Kippur ten days later.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a two-day holiday that falls in the early fall in the US. Its exact dates vary from year to year in the Gregorian calendar because the Jewish calendar is lunar-based.
Rosh Hashanah begins on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, the seventh month. In the Gregorian calendar, it falls in September or October.
This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on the evening of Friday, 15 September and lasts for two days, concluding at sundown on Sunday 17 September.
What is Rosh Hashanah?
The name means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, and it marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, a ten-day period of reflection and repentance that culminates with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Jews attend special synagogue services during the celebration. The blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horm, is a significant part of the service.
The most common culinary custom is to eat apples dipped in honey, signifying the desire for a sweet new year. Challah bread is often baked in a round shape instead of the usual braided form to represent the cycle of the year.
Another aspect of the celebration is the symbolic act called Tashlich, where Jews go to a body of water and cast off breadcrumbs, symbolising the casting away of sins. The traditional greeting during Rosh Hashanah is “Shanah Tovah,” which means “Happy New Year” in Hebrew.