Rosh Hashanah (“head of the year” in Hebrew) is the Jewish New Year. This day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of the mankind’s role in god’s world. This day is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) usually occurs in the early autumn of the northern Hemisphere.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. According to Hebrew Calendar, Tishrei is the first month of the civil year and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year.
The name of this month is Babylonian, an autumn month of 30 days. As per Gregorian calendar, Tishrei occurs in the months of September-October.
Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the Shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to symbolize a “Sweet New Year”. Other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served, such as the head of a fish to symbolize the “Head of the Year”.
Shofar is traditionally blown each morning for the entire month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. The sound of the Shofar is intended to awaken the listeners from their slumbers (asleep) and alert them to the coming judgement. The Shofar is not blown on Shabbat (7th day of the week).
On Rosh Hashanah day, religious poems called “piyyuttim” are added to the regular services. A special prayer book “Mahzor”, is used on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (10th day of the seventh month). A number of additions are made to the regular services, most notably an extended repetition of the Amidah (central prayer of Jewish Liturgy) prayer for both Shacharit morning prayer) and Mussaf (additional prayer). The Shofar is blown during Mussaf at several intervals.
On this Holy New Year Eve, send video greetings to your family and friends wishing and blessing them with good health, happiness and riches throughout the year.