A Brief Introduction of Rosh Hashanah

Posted on

A Brief Introduction of Rosh Hashanah

We hope you enjoy reading A Brief Introduction of Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah generally falls in September, but may occur in early October, Jews all around the world celebrate the holiday. Jewish New Year Cards are sent, special foods are prepared, family time is a priority and the faithful spend the day preparing for the ten days of quiet reflection and prayer to follow.

Translated, Rosh Hashanah literally means “Head of the Year”. Referred to as a Day of Remembrance, Rosh Hashanah commemorates the birth or creation of humankind.  Some believe it also signifies the creation of the world. This special day marks the beginning of the ten day period often referred to as the High Holy Days, the most sacred days on the Jewish Calendar, and is the first day of the year on the Jewish Calendar. The holiday begins at sundown on the day before the holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar and ends at sundown the next day.

Unlike the raucous party mode of the New Year of the Gregorian Calendar, Rosh Hashanah observations take place in quiet reflection with family and close friends, honoring tradition and rituals of the Jewish faith. Ten days of repentance and reflection follow and lead up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Rituals of Rosh Hashanah

Some of the rituals and traditions of Rosh Hashanah include sending cards to loved ones.  Preparations of meaningful feasts of symbolic foods, often including apples and honey take place. Pomegranates, with their many seeds, symbolize the fruitfulness of life. A round challah bread represents the circle of life. Blowing a Shofar (ram’s horn) serves as a wake-up call following each of three Rosh Hashanah services at the synagogue. Casting pebbles or pieces of bread into a flowing body of water symbolize the washing away of past sins and spiritual cleansing to start the new year with a clean slate.

Sweet Shanah Tovah Jewish New Year Card

Sweet Shanah Tovah Jewish New Year Card

The exact dates of Rosh Hashanah of each year are calculated using the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Hashanah falls during the first two days of the seventh month, and always 163 days after the first day of Passover.

In 2020, Rosh Hashanah falls on September 18, with observance commencing at sundown on September 20. Future years are as follows:

  • 2021: Beginning at sundown 9/6/2021
  • 2022: Beginning at sundown 9/25/2022
  • 2023: Beginning at sundown 9/15/2023
  • 2024: Beginning at sundown 10/2/2024
  • 2025: Beginning at sundown 9/22/2025

View our full collection of Rosh Hashanah Cards here!