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September does not only mark a new academic year for many schoolers, but also is the biggest Jewish holiday – the actual New Year, Rosh Hashanah!
So, let us clear some things up about this holiday!
When is Rosh Hashanah?
This year, Rosh Hashanah began at sunset on Sept. 18, and ended on Sunday, Sept. 20. Traditionally it lasts for two days as before it took quite a while to determine the proper date (as everything was measured by the moon), so people had to make sure it was right and let 2 days for that.
Rosh Hashanah usually starts in early September or sometimes it can be as late as early October.
Why is there Rosh Hashanah?
This holiday marks the beginning of the sacred days when Jewish people are supposed to focus on the reflecting and repelling their sins. It is believed that the names of the righteous people are written in the Book of Life and names of the wicked ones are written in the Book of Death. Everyone else has 10 days to repent before your destiny is decided in one of these two books.
How do you celebrate it?
Spend time with your family! There are some special treats to be shared (apple with honey), prayer services, Torah readings, and the lighting of candles.
What do you eat?
Pomegranate fruit (613 seeds also symbolize the 613 “mitzvot”)
Round challah bread baked with raisins
Head of a fish (it symbolizes the “head of the year” and fertility)
Do they give gifts for Rosh Hashanah?
You don’t have to give gifts, but this gesture would be appreciated. A traditional gift (that is also very convenient in the times of pandemic) is a bouquet of flowers!
Many big retailers suggest seasonal products and gifts. For example at Mark and Spencer you can buy Rosh Hashanah flower bouquets (if you live in the UK) and get a free delivery to your (or your friend’s) home. Otherwise, you can buy anything that your Jewish relatives/friends may need from in this shop as they have absolutely everything!
What else can you give?
We do have great ideas for you. Here are some:
Here you can find amazing specially made teas that are also fun to unwrap! There is a tea collection inspired by famous scientists and most of them are Jewish 🙂
Here you can find a funny T-shirt (if you are inspired by science)!
A great source of inspiration for your gift ideas! Again, items are inspired by scientists and philosophers who are often Jewish (for some reason there are so many famous Jewish scientists).
Another website for fun t-shirts and more (mugs, face masks, hats). Some of them are for those with really great sense of humor!
Are you into DIY? Then think about baking! Here you can find some affordable items to ease the process. Cook any dessert you are good at (muffins, cupcakes, pies) and use one of these decorating stencils (choose the neutral one and keep the others for Hannukah!).