Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is considered to be one of Judaism’s holiest days. The Jewish New Year traditionally kicks off in late Summer or early Fall. Since it doesn’t follow a secular calendar but is instead based on the lunar cycle (with years in correspondence to the solar cycle), Rosh Hashanah usually takes place between the months of September and October.

For 2018, the Rosh Hashanah holiday begins the evening of Sunday, September 9 and ends the evening of Tuesday, September 11.

Rosh Hashanah: Some Background & History

The name Rosh Hashanah is translated from Hebrew to English to mean “Head of the New Year”. This holiday marks the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

Rosh Hashanah comprises the first two days of a 10 day period known as the “Ten Days of Repentance”. This time period is based on the idea of original sin and involves prayer, repentance, and charity. At the end of this 10 day period, Yom Kipper is celebrated — the Day of Atonement.

Traditional customs help to define the celebration of this event: many incorporating food as symbolism. For example, celebrants eat apples dipped in honey to bring about a “sweet” New Year. Consuming pomegranates supports a year of good deeds. Eating challah symbolizes the circle of life.

Challah bread with raisins for Rosh Hashanah

Families and friends exchange the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim”, which translates to “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” Since this event is so important for those that practice Judaism, preparations for what is also known as the High Holidays begin a full lunar month ahead of the beginning of the 10 days, in Elul.

A Traditional Rosh Hashanah Meal

Catering by Michaels’ special Rosh Hashanah menu includes all of the traditional menu items you’d expect, as well as more modern twists on traditional favorites.

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