7 Facts About Rosh Hashanah

If “Happy New Year” stats have been popping up in your Facebook newsfeed today, know that you’re not going crazy. It’s Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. Check out these seven facts about the holiday.

  1. Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year.” And marks the completion of the creation of the world, according to the Jewish oral tradition.
  2. It starts at sundown on Sept. 16 (Sunday) and ends at nightfall on Sept. 18 (Tuesday).  
  3. The holiday falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar.
  4. Rosh Hashanah is one of four new years in the Jewish year. It’s considered the new year of people, animals, and legal contracts.
  5. It is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days (Yamim Noraim – the “Days of Awe”) and 10 days later Yom Kippur aka the “day of atonement” is celebrated.
  6. The New Year is the only Jewish holiday that is observed for two days by all Jews and it’s the only major holiday that falls on a new moon.
  7. Traditional Rosh Hashanah foods are apples and honey, raisin challah, honey cake and pomegranate. This is tied to the common holiday greeting: shana tovah u'metukah, Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year."

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