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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Life Arrow to Home Life - Holidays Holidays/Observances Arrow to Rosh Hashana Rosh Hashanah

Haredi man blowing a Shofar
The traditional blowing of the shofar calls
the faithful to prayer at Rosh Hashanah.

When is Rosh Hashanah this year? Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Friday, September 15, and ends at nightfall on Sunday, September 17, 2023.

Rosh Hashanah, which literally translates to "head of the year", marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, when the faithful look back at the mistakes of the past and plan for a better life in the year ahead.

The sounding of the shofar, traditionally made from a ram's horn, is heard during Rosh Hashanah services which signals the faithful away from sin and toward a more repentant life.

The Bible speaks of Rosh Hashanah as Yom Teruah, or "the day of the sounding of the shofar", but today the holiday has become more popularly known as "the first of the year" with a golden opportunity for those who have been led astray to turn over a new leaf, and begin again.

Rosh Hashanah food and feasting

apple & honeyAlong with a big celebratory Rosh Hashanah dinner, holiday menu traditions include Challah (egg bread) which is braided into a round loaf to symbolize the completeness of the year.

The meal is topped off with traditional Rosh Hashanah desserts of seasonal apples and honey, pomegranates, and honey cake dessert recipes to celebrate the hope of a "sweet life" and a Happy New Year! ....Shana Tova!

To add extra sweetness to the celebration, also check out these additional recipes Sweet Glazed Baby Carrots | Honey Glazed Chicken Wings in the Chiff Recipe File.

DID YOU KNOW? Rosh Hashanah fun facts

Pomegranate, sweet symbol of the New Year.

• While visiting the synagogue at Rosh Hashanah it is tradition to wear white or light colored clothing to symbolize purity and renewal.

• Eating pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah is based on the tradition that the fruit has 613 seeds, the same amount of commandments in the Jewish bible.

• In some communities, people still follow the tradition of "throwing their sins in the water" by a nearby river or lake. There, they shake out their pockets, or throw bread or stones into the water, to symbolize throwing their sins away for a fresh start to the new year.

• For good luck, it's customary to stay awake all night at Rosh Hashanah to contemplate the upcoming year. The Talmud states that if people sleep at the beginning of the year so does their good fortune.

• Songwriter and singer Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire” was inspired by the Unetaneh Tokef, one of the oldest and most important prayers said during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

More about Rosh Hashanah around the Web:

Up ahead, learn more about traditional and modern celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, along with the fall observance of Yom Kippur that quickly follows ....

Judiasm 101: Rosh Hashanah - With details on the notes played on the shofar with an accompanying audio file, an overview of popular customs and observances that mark the Jewish New Year and more on Rosh Hashanah blessings.

Torah Tots - Rosh Hashanh - Fun as it is educational with descriptions of Selichot prayers, the sounding of the Shofar (ram's horn), Tzom Gedalia and traditional customs together with related coloring pages, e-cards and interactive games.

OU.ORG Presents Rosh HaShanah! - Jewish New Year central, with information on basic-to-advanced information and related resources plus an extensive array of audio classes and video presentations. RealPlayer and Windows Media Player required.

also see in Holidays -> Chanukah also see in Religion -> Judaism

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