Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. The words literally translate to, “first of the year.” The exact date for Rosh Hashanah changes annually on the Gregorian calendar (usually falling in September or October), but in the Hebrew calendar, it begins on at the seventh month of the first day. Some denominations celebrate for a single day, while others for two days.
During this time, most look for reflection and repentance. This holiday is somewhat like the secular New Year, as people look to make resolutions or to get rid of something that’s holding them back from who they want to be. Rosh Hashanah is a time to look inside and make changes for the new year for a better you.
One of the most famous and important traditions is a shofar horn or a ram’s horn being blown. In the English bible, the word shofar translates to trumpet. Many people go to synagogue to hear the one-hundred notes that are sounded each day. There are four different notes that are sounded and last for various amount of time. The final blast in a set last a minimum of ten seconds. If the holiday lands on Shabbat, the shofar is not blown.
Another tradition favorite is Tashlikh, which means cast off. This is when followers walk into standing water and symbolically empty their sins into the water. Some even take small pieces of bread in the pocket to get rid of or wash away. Then there is the eating of apples that are dipped in honey to represent a sweet start of a new year.
If you would like to learn more about Rosh Hashanah here are some helpful starter links to get you in the right direction:
History.com Editors. “Rosh Hashanah.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/rosh-hashanah-history.
“Rosh Hashanah.” Judaism 101: Rosh Hashanah, http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm.
“Rosh Hashanah Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 4 Sept. 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2013/06/11/world/rosh-hashanah-fast-facts/index.html.