Rosh Hashanah Fast Facts!
Rosh Hashanah is one of the most special times of the year in Israel. According to the Jewish New Year, it is called Rosh Hashanah and it usually falls during the month of September or early October. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the start of the new year for two days according to the Jewish calendar. During these 2 days of celebration of New year, all the businesses across Israel remain closed on both days. In 2021, This year Rosh Hashanah will start at sundown on September 6th and will end at sundown on September 8th. So if you are having any business in Israel during Rosh Hashanah it is more likely to be closed.
Due to the Pandemic, a lot of these festivals were not being celebrated but hopefully, by this holiday all the events and festivals are more likely to be running again! If you are in Israel during the Rosh Hashanah holiday, the best way to spend the holiday is by visiting a synagogue to hear the prayers. Jews have quite long synagogue services and recite special prayers.
The rituals of the New year’s celebration are followed by blowing of the shofar which is the ram’s horn and also is considered as an iconic symbol of Rosh Hashanah. Shofar can be heard in the synagogue to symbolize God’s sovereignty over the world and their devotion towards God. If you aren’t able to attend synagogue, you can even hear the sound of the shofar. During this New year, you can see people gathered outside the synagogue, this is a special time to hear the shofar.
Other symbols of Rosh Hashanah also include apples and honey. They are eaten along with other sweet foods to symbolize a sweet new year ahead. During Rosh Hashanah, you can find braided sweet bread, which is baked with raisins and will be available in many bakeries. Along with other sweets, one of the most popular dishes for Rosh Hashanah is honey cake. This will be found in almost every bakery. Another tradition is to eat fruit, such as pomegranates, which can be eaten during the season.
Tashlich is another custom of Rosh Hashanah where Jews walk to a river or another flowing body of water in the afternoon. This custom is followed, allowing you to cast your sins into the water. If you are ever planning to visit Israel during this period, you would love to see religious Jews performing this custom. You can even visit many of the beautiful beaches in Israel, where Tashlichin practiced. You can either practice it or observe it.
During this period if you want to wish people a happy new year, you can say “Shanah Tovah”. Which means “Have a good year”. A new year in the Jewish calendar starts with Rosh Hashana, however, for any other religious activities, the year will begin on the very first of the month of Nisan. Along with Rosh Hashanah, 3 different types of ‘New Year’ is celebrated Jewish calendar, and those are Nisan 1, Elul 1, and Shevat 15, respectively. Each date has its own significance.