2 October 2016

Happy New Year - שנה טובה

Jewish people around the world will be celebrating Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah which literally means "head of the year" from sunset on Sunday, 2nd of October. Interestingly, unlike the Gregorian calendar when New Year's Eve always falls on 31st December, in the Hebrew calendar the Jewish New Year is celebrated sometime in September or October each year.  It is said to be one of the holiest days in the Hebrew calendar.  In Judaism, it is a day of introspection which enables people reflect on their actions and deeds of the past year and make new resolutions for the year ahead.  Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of the Jewish month of Tishri. It is a day steeped in tradition whereby all work is prohibited with the exception of emergency workers (police, fire, ambulance).  Families come together in prayer and symbolic foods such as bread and apples dipped in honey are eaten amongst other traditional fare.  People blow into a hollowed out ram's horn called a shofar well up to a hundred times over the course of the two day holiday.  As well, sins are said to be symbolically cast off with the emptying of one's pockets into a body of water. 
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