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How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah


Rosh Hashanah (????? ?????????) is a great Jewish holiday and Rosh Hashanah can be translated as "head of the year". Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish new year that starts on the first day of Tishrei - the first month of the civil year (and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year). Rosh Hashanah is usually celebrated in September or October. The earliest date ever to celebrate Rosh Hashanah was September 5 (as it occurred in 1899, and in 2013). If you have had your bar mitzvah just a little while ago or you have never celebrated Rosh Hashanah before and want to know how to do it right, this article is for you.


Before Rosh Hashanah

The month of Elul is followed by Rosh Hashanah. That month is supposed to be devoted to self-learning and analyzing your deeds. The month of Elul is followed by ten days of Yamim Nora'im, the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. Those days are to be spent reciting prayers.

Erev Rosh Hashanah

Erev Rosh Hashanah is the evening before Rosh Hashanah that is to be devoted to a nullification of vows. After that the mood gets much more festive; it gets your spirits high. On Rosh Hashanah day religious poems are added to the regular Jewish prayers.

Rosh Hashanah Greetings

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah people greet each other in a special way. “Ketiva ve-chatima tovah” which means "May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year” (????? ?????? ?????), all traditional greetings include wishing each other a good year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that phrase, people can just wish “many years” to each other.

Rosh Hashanah Foods

There is a number of foods that can be served:

  • apples and honey are traditional foods served on Rosh Hashanah; they symbolize the sweet new year. Apples may be covered in honey, they can even be baked;
  • the head of a fish, that symbolizes the head (the beginning) of a new year;
  • pastries with pumpkin stuffing;
  • stuffed vegetables;
  • black-eyed peas;
  • leek;
  • spinach and etc.


The ritual of Tashlikh is performed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, near the water. It is believed that the sins of the past year are automatically cast off, and the water carries them away.


On this holiday one is not supposed to sin, be disrespectful toward others or skip prayers. One has to follow the traditions, and spend this holiday with family. Jews are not supposed to celebrate Christmas or New Year (according to Gregorian calendar). Sticking to Jewish traditions is essential.



As you see, the traditions are very peculiar and festive. Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with your closest people, examine yourself and spend more time praying. Do noble things and remember that traditions are important, have a great New Year, Ketiva ve-chatima tovah! Have a good year.

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