Rosh Hashana in the United Kingdom
Many Jewish people in the United Kingdom (UK) celebrate Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah), which is also known as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashana starts on the first day of Tishrei (or Tishri), which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, and may last for two days. It is sometimes called the Day of Remembrance or the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar.
What Do People Do?
Many Jewish people in the UK observe Rosh Hashana (Rosh Hashanah), known as the New Year in the Jewish calendar, for two days, while others celebrate the event for one day. It differs to the secular New Year in the Gregorian calendar (January 1) in that Rosh Hashana is a time when God reviews and judges a person's deeds in the past year, according to Jewish belief. It is also a time to look ahead with hope, and for personal growth and reflection.
Many Jewish families gather for special meals to celebrate Rosh Hashana, which commences at nightfall the day before the actual holiday. The celebrations begin after the evening prayer, when family and friends join in to reflect on the past and make a fresh start for the New Year. The challah bread, pomegranates, and apples dipped in honey, and carrot stew are popular dishes during Rosh Hashana.
Many Jewish people in the United Kingdom spend their time in the synagogue at some stage during Rosh Hashanah. The shofar is blown like a trumpet in the synagogue during this time of the year. Another activity that occurs during Rosh Hashana is performing the casting ritual (tashlikh), which involves reciting prayers near naturally flowing water and “throwing sins away” (for example, in the form of bread pieces). Some people of Jewish faith may take the day off work or organize time off during this time of the year, to observe the belief that no work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashana is not a bank holiday in the UK. However, many Jewish organizations may be closed or have restricted opening hours on Rosh Hashana.
Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah) marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Some sources say that the early Jewish calendar had four New Years, corresponding the seasons, with Rosh Hashana being one of the New Years.
Festivals to mark the beginning of a new year in the fall have been held since the earliest days of the Israelites. These took the form of prayers of thanks for the grain harvest. The custom of blowing trumpets on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei is first described in the vision of Ezekiel, a prophet who lived sometime around 600–500 BCE. This custom has continued into modern times.
The challah bread, which is eaten during Rosh Hashana, symbolizes the continuity of life. The apples that are dipped in honey symbolize sweetness and good health throughout the New Year. Some people also eat fish heads, which symbolize their desire to be on top, not the bottom, of life in the New Year. Pomegranates symbolize abundance of goodness and happiness.
The shofar reminds people of Jewish faith that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of Abraham’s son, Isaac. The tashlikh is an act that symbolizes throwing one’s sins in the water, so people believe that they are freed from their sins.
About Rosh Hashana in other countriesRead more about Rosh Hashana.
Rosh Hashana ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Thu||Sep 9||2010||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Sep 29||2011||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Sep 17||2012||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Sep 5||2013||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Sep 25||2014||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Sep 14||2015||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Oct 3||2016||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Sep 21||2017||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Sep 10||2018||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Sep 30||2019||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
|Sat||Sep 19||2020||Rosh Hashana||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsRosh Hashana, also spelled Rosh Hashanah, is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. The event begins on the first day of Tishrei (or Tishri), which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar.
Rosh Hashana 2017Thursday, September 21, 2017
Rosh Hashana 2018Monday, September 10, 2018
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
- Yom Kippur – Saturday, September 30, 2017
Other holidays in September 2017 in the United Kingdom
- Eid-al-Adha – Saturday, September 2, 2017
- Navaratri – Wednesday, September 20, 2017
- Muharram/Islamic New Year – Friday, September 22, 2017
- Dussehra – Saturday, September 30, 2017