It is already the end of September, which means the year is almost over- but for the Jewish people, the year is only beginning. Starting September 20th after sundown, Rosh Hashanah marks the year 5778 in the Jewish calendar. With 1.1 million Jews living in New York City, this is a big day for locals and tourists alike.
Rosh Hashanah is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish religion, being one of two high holy days. It is celebrated by blowing the shofar—a wind instrument made from a ram horn—and begins the ten days of atonement culminating in Yom Kippur.
If you find yourself in the city, here are some ways you can celebrate Rosh Hashanah like many of the locals:
If you are feeling particularly reverent, you can live stream Rosh Hashanah services from the famed Temple Emanu-El via their Facebook page. There, you can listen to inspiring sermons and beautiful music, while experiencing a cultural tradition that dates back 3,000 years.
Traditionally on the holiday, Jews eat apples and caramel to signify a sweet start to the new year. Many New York bakeshops are putting their own twists on this classic treat. Two of our favorites include: Breads Bakery’s honey cake, apple babka, and marzipan honey, and Francois Payard Bakery’s apple honey cake and green apple macarons.
You can even make your way to Randall’s Island’s Urban Farm for some apple picking. Then, you can use your fresh finds to make your own Rosh Hashanah inspired dishes.
Additionally, right after the holiday on Saturday, September 23rd is the 7th Annual Honey Fest. There, over two-dozen vendors will sample and sell their honey and honey related products. A sweet new year indeed.