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Guide to Rosh Hashanah

by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-10-04

Jewish New Year

Jewish New Year

Your easy to understand guide to Jewish feativals.

Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

The Jewish New Year takes place around September/October, and is considered one of the most important and serious holidays (or High Holy Days) in the Jewish calendar.

As well as being a time for celebration it is also a time for reflection and repentance for sins committed in the previous year.

In synagogue, people pray to God to forgive them for their wrongdoings and to give them a good year - during the service a Shofar, or ram's horn, is blown, to alert congregants to the seriousness of the festival and the fact that God is deciding their fates for the coming year - which will be sealed on the Day Of Atonement ten days later. This period is known as The Ten Days Of Repentance and is traditionally a solemn time.

However, Rosh Hashanah is also a time for celebration - other traditions include eating apples dipped in honey in the hope that this will lead to a sweet year.