Why Your Friends Are Saying Happy New Year

Samantha Gitlin, Managing Editor

Jan 1st might not be the start of the new year to everyone. In the Jewish religion, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah celebrates the start of the new year in the Jewish calendar. There are several traditions used to celebrate the holiday. Below you can find three traditions that can make the new year a little sweater.

Start off sweet. Start the year of sweet with apples and honey. Who wants to start off the new year with some bitter herbs? No one! That’s why that tradition is left for Passover and honey is used for Rosh Hashanah! At most celebrations every table is accompanied by a bowl of honey and a plate of apples. This symbolizes starting the year off sweet. A prayer also accompanies this tradition to transform the meaning. 

New cycle. Only eat round challah on Rosh Hashanah. There is only one week a year when you don’t have to eat braided challah. On Rosh Hashanah you eat challah in the shape of a circle to symbolize the unending cycle of life and creation. It is eaten during services and the celebration. For extra fun, you can dip this challah in honey!

Saying Sorry. Participate in Tashlich. Tashlich is one of the most spiritual acts in the Jewish religion. After services, everyone gathers by a flowing body of water with a bag of bread. It can be any type of bread, even round challah. This symbolizes casting away your sins, so you don’t start off the new year with people upset with you. It allows you to reflect on what you have done and how to improve for the next year.