AT sundown today, the Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah, will kick off.
The two-day celebration is packed with special foods and traditions and is one of the most important dates in the Jewish calendar, but how is it celebrated?
What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah translates as “the head of the year” in Hebrew and is when Jews observe the end of one year and the start the next.
It is thought by Jews to be the day that God created Adam and Eve, and serves as a time to celebrate the creation of the universe.
Although the festival is a chance to enjoy time spent with friends and family, it is also a time for reflection, and begins 10 days of repentance for sins committed in the previous year.
At the end of the 10 days is Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement.
It is considered to be the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and is usually spent in prayer and fasting.
When does Rosh Hashanah start?
Get your honey and hollowed-out ram horn at the ready as the Jewish celebration takes place at sundown on Wednesday September 20.
Instead of typical New Year celebrations in the UK lasting for one night and day, it continues for two days until nightfall on September 22.
Last year it was held on October 2 and the date changes each year.
How is Rosh Hashanah celebrated?
Most of the two days are spent at the synagogue or feasting with loved ones.
Customs include sounding a hollowed-out ram’s horn known as a shofar after readings from the Torah, which is the Jewish religious text.
Around 100 blasts can often be heard throughout the New Year at the synagogue and it symbolises a call for repentance.
Jews will consume symbolic foods such as apples or cakes dipped in honey, which are supposed to represent having a “sweet new year.”
Fish heads are also eaten, to symbolise the head of the year, and pomegranates, which are said to have 613 seeds, similar to the 613 commandments in the Jewish holy teaching.
Candles are lit in the evening and blessings are also recited.
Why do the dates of Rosh Hashanah change?
Rosh Hashanah is typically celebrated in September, although the exact dates move each year, unlike in the Gregorian New Year.
It is based on the moon’s cycle, whereas the Gregorian one is determined by the sun.
Some denominations celebrate the festival for different lengths and only observe one day instead of two.