By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
8 things to know about this year's Rosh Hashanah
Placeholder Image
Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year celebration, began Sunday. From the foods to the sounds to the tweets, the festival's messages provide Jews worldwide a chance to reflect and plan for future endeavors, according to BBC.

But leaders of the faith said this year's Rosh Hashanah, which goes until Tuesday night, means something different, according to The Huffington Post.

Delphine Horvilleur, editor-in-chief of a French Jewish magazine, said in a Huffington Post video that Jews reflect on current issues during the celebration and have the Europe migrant crisis and attacks on French Jews at a Kosher supermarket earlier this year in mind in 2015.

"(The refugee crisis) echoes our own personal family history; it echoes our own Jewish values and what it says about our relationship to the stranger," she said.

Along with a focus on reflection, here are eight things to know about Rosh Hashanah:

This year is the 5,776th installment

According to International Business Times, 2015 marks the 5,776th Rosh Hashanah.

The New Year begins the first day of the fall Hebrew month Tishrei, according to IBT, and devout Jews do not work on the holy day.

It's storming social media

Using hashtags like #RoshHashanah and #HappyNewYear, Jews are taking to Twitter to share their celebration experiences.

Most of it is spent at home or the synagogue

Although the Jan. 1 New Year often means frantic gatherings at places like New York's Times Square, Jews spend a large portion of Rosh Hashanah at home or the synagogue, BBC reported.

The Oregonian's report says followers have a unique practice at their places of worship and get some family time in at homes.

"In synagogues, Jews collectively confess sin. Wrongdoing is often done in a web ... Someone could have stopped it. Someone else encouraged it. So, together, congregations recite confessions," according to The Oregonian. "Jewish families celebrate by sharing meals at home. Foods special to the holiday include honey, apples and pomegranate."

The festivities are sweet

To make the next year sweet, why not start it off right with foods symbolizing that idea? Jews eat apples dipped in honey during Rosh Hashanah, according to IBT.

CNN reported the traditional challah bread is also dipped in honey rather than salt "symbolizing the hope for a good year to come."

Part of the Rosh Hashanah soundtrack sounds like this

BBC's article indicated the shofar, a ram's horn trumpet, ushers in Rosh Hashanah with 100 notes sounded in a "special rhythm."

The shofar carries participants into the Jewish New Year with "peace and vitality," according to The Huffington Post, and you can hear the instrument's sound in this video.

Young people might have their own take on the event

According to Tribune Total Media, young Jews might have more "light" ways to celebrate the event. Young adults in Pittsburgh, for example, looked to meet new people just as much as experience repentance and cleansing at Rosh Hashanah's start Sunday night.

It's meant to engage both people like me, who are regularly involved at Temple, and people who are Jewish or raised Jewish but not as involved, Andrew Horowitz, 31, told Tribune Total Media.

Young and old should reflect on ways they can improve themselves during the New Year and check back in with each other to make Rosh Hashanah a celebration for people of all ages to benefit from, PBS NewsHour reported.

'L'shanah tovah' means 'for a good year'

Even those who have never celebrated Rosh Hashanah can wish Jewish friends well with L'shanah tovah, or for a good year, IBT's article read.

And according to this Technion-Israel Institute of Technology video, even robots get in on the festivity's greeting.

Another Jewish holy day is a week away

The Oregonian reported Yom Kippur begins at sundown Sept. 22 and along with Rosh Hashanah, comprises the High Holy Days. Also, Jews call the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the Days of Awe.

"Like Rosh Hashana, the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur are part of preparation for the new year," according to The Oregonian. "It's about wiping the slate clean by making reparation for past sin."

An Israel News report indicated Yom Kippur coincides with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha this year.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter