When does Rosh Hashanah 2016 start? See our chart with dates and the meaning of this Jewish holiday.
Rosh Hashanah Calendar
Note that the Jewish calendar is different than today’s civil calendar. It is a “Luni-Solar” calendar, established by the cycles of the Moon and the Sun, so the length of days vary by the season, controlled by the times of sunset, nightfall, dawn and sunrise. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs on the first two days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar.
All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the date listed.
Rosh Hashanah begins:
|2016||5777||Sundown, October 2, 2016 (to nightfall October 4)|
|2017||5778||Sunset September 20, 2017 (to nightfall September 22)|
|2018||5779||Sunset September 9, 2018 (to nightfall September 11)|
What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah, literally “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, is the beginning of the Jewish new year. It is the first of the High Holidays or “Days of Awe,” ending 10 days later with Yom Kippur.
This two-day festival marks the anniversary of human’s creation—and the special relationship between humans and God, the creator.
Rosh Hashanah begins with the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, proclaiming God as King of the Universe, just as a trumpet would be sounded at a king’s coronation. In fact, Rosh Hashanah is described in the Torah as Yom Teru’ah, a day of sounding (the Shofar).
The sound of the shofar is also a call to repentance—to wake up and re-examine our commitment to God and to correct our ways. Thus begins the “Ten Days of Repentance” which ends in Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement.”
There are many traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah, including eating apples dipped in honey, representing wishes for a sweet and pleasant year. Spicy or sour foods are avoided.
Other traditions including lighting of candles, dipping challah (egg bread) in honey, serving a new seasonal fruit, and eating a pomegranate (as its many seeds symbolize the hope that the year will be rich with many blessings).
If you observe Rosh Hashanah, please share your traditions below!