Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Tristan . Tristan Wonders, “Why are Jewish calenders diffrent from the rest?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Tristan !
Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday observed on the first and second days of the month of Tishrei.
On the Jewish calendar, these days mark the new year. Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” or “first of the year.”
Some people celebrate December 31st, New Year’s Eve, with big parties. Rosh Hashanah is a different celebration. That’s because it’s one of the holiest days of the Jewish year.
The celebration of Rosh Hashanah has many layers. The Torah (the holy book of Judaism) calls Rosh Hashanah both Yom Ha-Zikkaron (“the day of remembrance”) and Yom Teruah (“a day of shofar blowing”).
They play one hundred notes at the start of Rosh Hashanah. The sounding of the shofar begins a 10-day period (called the “High Holy Days”) that ends with the festival of Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah remembers the creation of the world. It is also a holy day of judgment when Jews reflect on their actions over the course of the past year and make plans for changes in the coming new year.
These changes are sometimes called resolutions. In that way, Rosh Hashanah has at least one thing in common with New Year’s celebrations.
Over the years, many traditions have evolved around Rosh Hashanah. One of these is to feature sweet foods as a symbol of the hope for a sweet new year to come. Many children — and adults! — look forward to sliced apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah.
They also dip Challah bread in honey at meals. Instead of its usual braided shape, though, the challah bread at Rosh Hashanah is baked in the shape of a circle to symbolize the hope that the new year will roll smoothly without unhappiness or sadness.