Catholics celebrate their New Year on January 1. Chinese celebrate their New Year sometime in February. However, before those “New Years” happen, there is an earlier New Year being celebrated and that is the Jewish New Year or known in Jewish as Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah, or more commonly known as the Jewish New Year is observed on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. It is ordained in the Torah as “Zicaron Terua”, meaning a memorial with blowing horns. Hebrews believe Rosh Hashanah represents either analogically or literally the creation of the World, or Universe.
This year, Rosh Hashanah 2010 or more commonly known as the Jewish New Year 2010 will be celebrated by Jews on the sunset of September 8, 2010 up to the nightfall of September 10, 2010. This particular Jewish New Year date will represent Jewish Year 5771 in the Gregorian Calendar.
Jewish New Year just like other Jewish Holidays is observed as a day of rest where Hebrews pray in synagogue, hearing the shofar, a horn used for Jewish religious purposes. Aside from that, Rosh Hashanah is also characterized by festive meals with challah and auspicious foods such as apples dipped in honey, fish heads, as well as new fruits on the second night o symbolize a sweet new year. Other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served such as cooked tongue or other meat from the head of an animal or fish to symbolize the “head” of the year.
Moreover, Hebrews also greet each other with Rosh Hashanah greetings shana tova for “good year”, or shana tova umetukah for “good and sweet year”. On the days of Rosh Hashanah 2010 itself, religious poems, called piyyuttim, are added to the regular Jewish services.
After the Jewish New Year 2010 or Rosh Hashanah 2010, the Fast of Gedalia follows. It is a Jewish fast day from dawn until dusk to lament the assassination of the righteous governor of Judea of that name, which ended Jewish rule and completed the destruction of the First Temple. This year 2010, it will be celebrated on September 12.
Below is a video of how Catholics adopt Rosh Hashanah or the start of Jewish New Year: