Jewish New Year
The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated in the Jewish month of Tishri (September and October on the Gregorian calendar) and solemnizes the anniversary of Creation. In other words, it can be named the birthday of the world. More exactly, Rosh Hashanah is commemorated on the first and second days of Tishri, the only Jewish celebration that lasts for two days. Rosh Hashanah is both a solemn and a happy day. It is a time for self-contemplation, asking for and giving forgiveness. As well, it is a time of repentance and remembering that God is the King and the Judge. On this day, everybody is praying for a healthy and happy year to come.
Rosh Hasshanah is the first one of the two most important celebrations of the Jewish New Year holidays. Together with Yom Kippur, they form the holidays known as "High Holidays". It is said that on Rosh Hashanah God opens the Book of Life for the judgment of good and bad deeds. Ten days later God seals the Book and the judgment ends. This is the day of Yom Kippur. The time between these two holidays is known as Shabbat Shuva (The Shabbat of Returning). The Ten Days of Repentance begin on Rosh Hashanah and end on Yom Kippur.
On Rosh Hashanah, one of the most essential traditions is sounding the shofar in the synagogue. The shofar is an animal's horn, preferably a ram's one, which is blown like a trumpet. It is blown 100 times on each day of Rosh Hashanah, and different meanings are associated to varying sounds. In the Torah there is no specific explanation for this practice. However, rabbis offer several reasons for it: the blown of shafra can be considered as a call to repentance, or a warning to the Jewish people not to fall into temptation.
Working is forbidden on Rosh Hashanah, though there are some exceptions, such as food preparation and carrying the fire. People spend almost all day in the synagogue, where they attend regular daily liturgy. Prayers are an important part of the proceedings. And after the evening prayer people wish each other a Good New Year.
On this New Year holiday there are also some very delicious traditions - eating apples dipped in honey - a symbol of people's wish for a nice and sweet new year. Also, it is very tasty to dip bread in honey. Another popular tradition on this holiday is Tashlikh, meaning "casting off". On the afternoon of the first day, before afternoon services, people walk to the river and empty their pockets (usually small pieces of bread) into the water, symbolically casting off all their sins.
Judaism has several different "new years" - Nissan 1, the new year on purpose to counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar; Elul 1, in August, the new year for the tithing of animals, Shevat 15, in February, is the new year for trees, determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc., and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) is the new year for years, when the year number increases. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time).
Judaism includes several different "new years": Nissan 1 - the new year from which the reign of kings and calendar months are counted; Elul 1 - in August, for the tithing of animals; Shevat 15 - in February, for determining when first fruits can be eaten; and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) - is the New Year, when the year number increases (Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time).
The next Jewish New Years:
Jewish Year 5770: sunset September 18, 2009 - nightfall September 20, 2009
Jewish Year 5771: sunset September 8, 2010 - nightfall September 10, 2010
Jewish Year 5772: sunset September 28, 2011 - nightfall September 30, 2011
on Youtube.com 5769 - Happy New Year
on Youtube.com Rosh Hashana: Sticky 'n Sweet New Year