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HerCampus Guide to the Head of the New Year: Rosh Hashanah

HAPPY NEW YEAR! But it’s September, you say, a bit confused. Yup, I understand. For the Jewish Community, our New Year tends to fall at a different point on the calendar, well, because we use a different calendar. The first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar is the head of the Jewish New Year: Rosh Hashanah! This year Rosh Hashanah begins on September 20th at sundown and ends at sundown on September 22nd. 


Below are some of the most important aspects of the holiday and some terms that should refresh your memory from Hebrew School, or keep you in the loop if this is brand new to you! 

Shofar: a trumpet made from a ram’s horn sounded during this holiday  

Apples & Honey: eaten to symbolize the beginning of a healthy and sweet year 

Head of the New Year: another way to refer to the New Year, “Rosh” translates to “head”  

High Holidays: Includes both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are viewed as the most important holidays of the Jewish faith, combined focus on repenting for sins and starting with a clean slate 

Round Challah: different from the recognizable braid, round challahs are served during Rosh Hashanah to represent one of a few things: the continuity of years and seasons, eternal life, and/or a crown. Sometimes raisins are added to symbolize a sweet year. 

Tashlich: a practice of “casting off” pieces of bread into a moving body of water to represent a sweeping away of sins of the past year 

L’shana tovah: Translates to “for a good year,” a common greeting during Rosh Hashanah 

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