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Hoshana Rabbah in Australia

Many Jewish people in Australia mark Hoshana Rabbah (or Hoshana Raba) as the last day of Sukkot (Succot, Succoth, Sukkoth) in their calendars. This day is the end of the Sukkot period, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The Sukkot festival is observed during the week starting on 15th day of Tishri (or Tishrei), which is the first month of the year in the Jewish calendar.

Four species
A lemon-like fruit found on a citron tree is one of the Sukkot symbols.
A lemon-like fruit found on a citron tree is one of the Sukkot symbols.
©iStockphoto.com/sterling_photo

What Do People Do?

Many Jewish Australians observe Hoshana Rabbah, which is the last day of the seven-day Sukkot period. It is a time for people to give thanks for their ancestors’ safe 40-year journey from Egypt to Israel, as described in the Torah. There are special services in Jewish synagogues, prayers are recited, and a special ritual involving the “four species” (plants) is performed. Some people also believe that Hoshana Rabbah is the final chance for people to atone for sins they committed in the previous year.

Hoshana Rabbah is the last day for many Jewish Australians to dwell in the sukkah but some traditional followers continue to stay in this temporary structure through to Shmini Atzeret, which starts after Hoshana Rabbah.

Public Life

The last day of Sukkot is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia. However, many Jewish businesses, schools and organizations may be closed or offer a reduced level of service.

Background

The Sukkot period is a time to remember the Jewish people’s wandering in the desert for 40 years following their exodus from Egypt, according to Jewish teachings. It is also a time to celebrate the grape harvest. Some sources claim that Sukkot lasts for about seven days while others state that it is an eight-day festival.

The seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabbah while the eighth day is known as Shmini Atzeret and the day after is called Simchat Torah. Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashanah.

Symbols

An important Sukkot symbol is the sukkah. This is a temporary structure with a roof made of sechach or s'chach, which is raw, unfinished plant material, such as palm branches, bamboo poles, reeds or even corn stalks.

The “four species” are also important symbols of Sukkot and represent the blessings of nature. These are lulav (a green, closed frond of a date palm tree), hadass (twigs and leaves from a myrtle tree), aravah (twigs and leaves from a willow tree) and etrog (a lemon-like fruit of the citron tree).

About Hoshana Rabbah in other countries

Read more about Hoshana Rabbah.

Hoshana Rabbah Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
WedSep 292010Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
WedOct 192011Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
SunOct 72012Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
WedSep 252013Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
WedOct 152014Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
SunOct 42015Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
SunOct 232016Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
WedOct 112017Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
SunSep 302018Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
SunOct 202019Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 
FriOct 92020Hoshana RabbahJewish holiday 

Quick Facts

Many Jewish communities in Australia observe the last day of Sukkot, which marks the end of the Sukkot festival.

Hoshana Rabbah 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hoshana Rabbah 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Hoshana RabbahEnglish
Hoschana RabbaGerman

Alternative names

NameLanguage
Last day of SukkotEnglish
Sukkot (Laubhüttenfest) endetGerman
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in September 2018 in Australia

Fun Holiday on September 30, 2018

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