New Year’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the world. It’s mainly celebrated on the 1st of January. Several countries and communities have their own dates of celebration. One of such holidays is Rosh HaShanah. It hasn’t a strict date. When is Rosh HaShanah in 2017?
The meaning and history of the holiday
The holiday was firstly mentioned in the Bible. It is said that people should have a real rest on the 1st day of the 7th month of each year. Later the day became the New Year of Jews, though there’s no such information in the Bible.
At early times people had 4 holidays accepted as New Year:
- the 1st of Nisan;
- the 1st of Elul;
- the 1st of Tishrei;
- the 15th of Sh’vat.
People used the 1st variant to calculate the quantity of each king’s reigning. The 2nd variant concerns cattle’s tithing and sacrificing. The agricultural New Year takes place in Tishrei. The last holiday stands for a holiday of the Trees. The Jewish year starts according to the Torah in Nisan. But people celebrate also Rosh HaShanah, which is in Tishrei.
The history of the day is tightly connected with the Babylonian tradition. The ancient people celebrated “The Day of Judgment” annually. It was a belief that Gods went to God Marduk’s temple and made a convocation. During that meeting Gods made lots of deeds. They thought up the people’s fates and wrote them on the destiny’s tablet. Gods also made a judgment for every person and renewed the world.
Lots of Jews lived among Babylonians and took some elements of the observance. It is a strong Jewish belief that the only God judges each man on Rosh HaShanah and writes people’s fates into the Book of Life. Wicked persons are to have bad fates. The sinners, though, have 10 days to repent. When is Rosh HaShanah 2017? The calendar states that this holiday takes place on September 21/22 in 2017.The holiday’s setting on the 1st day of the 7th month is also associated with Yom HaratOlam, which was the anniversary of world’s creation.
The acceptance of the holiday’s name “Rosh HaShanah” was in the 2nd century (CE). Earlier Jews used other names. Yom T’ruah was given by the Torah. It meant “Day of the Shofar’s Sounding”. Yom HaDin and Yom T’ruah are the reflections of the Babylonian impact. They meant the days of “Judgment” and “Remembrance” respectively. Literature and liturgy still hold these meanings. So, people speak about the Jewish New Year as Rosh HaShanah.
How to observe Rosh HaShanah
It is a very symbolic day. People think about the world’s creation. The holiday starts with a shofar’s blowing. The tradition of blowing has roots in the ancient times. Earlier the trumpet announced the new moon. People usually use horns of rams but antelopes’ ones are also popular.
The Jews have various variants of celebrating Rosh HaShanah. They prepare for the holiday thoroughly. It’s not a generally accepted New Year. It tends to be a more individual occasion. The Jews pray and introspect. They also commemorate the dead relatives visiting their graves. It is a belief that this tradition helps people in fulfilling.
People like sending cards with a good wish to their friends and relatives. They tell each other about their matters and let their friends know about plans for future. This custom leads the same matter as the Christian tradition. People of other religions may ask their Jewish friends the question “What day Rosh HaShanah in 2017”. In 2017 people should write festive cards on September, 21/22. The main goal of the starting month is charity.
The Jews try to follow the traditions making festive food. The hostess of the house makes Challah, which is round bread symbolizing a crown. The challah also means the life circle. People believe that our lives don’t stop. The worshippers usually say some blessings over it. Another form is also accepted. People usually make challahs in a form of birds or with a ladder on their tops. It symbolizes the God’s will and concern in people’s lives.
Other symbols of Rosh HaShanah are honey and apples. It is a generally accepted hope for a sweet fate and year. Challah is also poured on with honey. The families lay the table with Tzimmes, a special Jewish dessert. It’s usually made of honey, prunes, yams, carrots and cinnamon. It symbolizes a hope for fertility and prosperity.
Rosh HaShanah is celebrated each year though the traditions are different. Some representatives of the Jewish community have celebrations for 2 days. In ancient times people celebrated the day after the witnesses’ announcement about a new moon. The Jews in the remote lands could even miss the time of observance. Thus, the holiday was prolonged for 2 days. What is the date of Rosh HaShanah 2017? It’s on September, 21/22.
Facts about Rosh HaShanah
There are some generally accepted facts concerning the Jewish New Year:
- The name of the day means “head of the year”. It’s usually set on the period 5.09 – 5.10 according to the Gregorian calendar. The day is the beginning of the High Holy Days, the time of atonement.
- It is a tradition of forgiveness. People usually forgive their relatives and friends. God doesn’t forgive people who didn’t try to ask forgiveness themselves. They have a month before Rosh HaShanah.
- The Jews attend synagogues during the holiday. They pray and read the Torah. The services are very long.
- The holiday has its colour. People usually wear white clothes as a symbol of renewal and purity.
- The shofar’s sounds call the Jews to repent.
- The peculiarity of the day is that people don’t fast, but feast. Honey is the main part of festive meals.
- The tradition of throwing stones and pieces of bread into water is held by some Jewish communities. They pray and wash away their sins in such a way. This custom started in Germany in the 15th There’s no matter what water source is used. It depends on the landscape.
If a person asks the Jews “When is Rosh HaShanah in 2017, calendar of Jews?”, he’ll get the answer “On September, 21/22”.