How do we celebrate Rosh Hashanah?

Jews from all over the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah in different ways. Holiday traditions can be different depending on where you’re from and how your family celebrates. Here are some of the Rosh Hashanah customs:

Apple and honey
At the evening meal on Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat an apple dipped in honey and other sweet foods to symbolize a sweet new year.

Greet others with ‘L’Shanah Tovah’
It is also customary to send “Shana Tova” greeting cards to our friends and relatives wishing them health, happiness, and prosperity for the new year.

Holiday Meal
As with most Jewish holidays, food is the focus of home celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and families and friends gather for a festive meal.

In Rosh Hashanah It is costumed to eat several foods that symbolize our wishings for the new year:

Round Challah- The round challahs have no end, symbolizing our wish for a year in which life and blessings continue without end.
head of a fish- in order to be ‘like the head and not the tail’ - so we’ll be leaders, not followers.
Pomegranates- By eating the pomegranate, we express our wish for a year filled with as many merits as a pomegranate has seeds.
A new fruit- a fruit that has recently come into season but we have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy this year or a fruit we have never tasted before. This tradition has become a way literally to taste the newness of the year, by enjoying an unfamiliar food
Blowing the shofar (ram’s horn)
The shofar blasts are intended to symbolize God’s sovereignty over the world.

On Rosh Hashanah afternoon it is customary to walk to a river, lakeshore or another open body of water, to shake out one’s pockets and symbolically

cast one’s sins into the water.

Prayers and Selichot
Religious people attend synagogue services and recite special prayers and liturgical songs written over the centuries.

Prior to Rosh Hashanah, there are special prayers, requesting forgiveness and expressing remorse and repentance.

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