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Rosh Hashana 2024 in the United States

Jewish families usher in the Hebrew calendar´s New Year with a trumpeting ram´s horn and sweet apples with honey.

The call of the shofar, or ram´s horn, is a highlight of Rosh Hashanah services.

©iStockphoto.com/John Theodor

Is Rosh Hashanah a Public Holiday?

While this is not a public holiday in the United States, many Jewish-run organizations are closed during the two-day celebration.

When Is Rosh Hashanah?

The Jewish New Year starts on the first day of the month of Tishrei in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls between early September and early October in the Gregorian calendar.

A Blast From a Ram´s Horn

In the Old Testament, the New Year is referred to as Yom Teruah (“a day of shouting or blasting.") Many Jewish people in the United States attend Rosh Hashanah services at a synagogue to hear the trumpet-like blasting of a shofar (hollow ram´s horn).

In most temples, this ancient instrument is blown for 100 blasts on each day of the holiday. The trumpeting of the horn is meant as a kind of wake-up call to inspire the worshipers to reflect on their lives, repent, and focus again on divinity.

In recent years, the haunting sound of the shofar has found its way into popular culture, most notably appearing in Jerry Goldsmith´s score for the film “Alien.”

Days of Awe

Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve and starts a period known as the High Holy Days or Ten Days of Awe.

The biblical belief is that God judges all creatures during this stretch of time, writing the names of the righteous into the “Book of Life” and giving those who are not yet fully righteous the chance to perform teshuvah (repentance).

Because of this belief, religious Jewish communities think of Rosh Hashana as a particularly good time to settle disputes, pray, and do good deeds.

Another custom for some Jews is tashlich (a casting off of sin). Pieces of bread representing the sins of the past year are tossed into a moving body of water such as a river to drift away, allowing the person to feel cleansed and able to start again with a clean slate.

Apples and Honey

Many Jewish families in the United States host festive meals on Rosh Hashana. Apples and honey, round challah bread with raisins, and sweet carrot tzimmes are served, representing hope for the year to come. A prayer is often recited over the table that translates as: “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year.”

Pomegranates are also part of the holiday feast, often served after a prayer that reads, “may our merits be many like the (seeds of the) pomegranate.”

About Rosh Hashana in Other Countries

Read more about Rosh Hashana.

Rosh Hashana Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2019MonSep 30Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2020SatSep 19Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2021TueSep 7Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2022MonSep 26Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2023SatSep 16Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2024ThuOct 3Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2025TueSep 23Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2026SatSep 12Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2027SatOct 2Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2028ThuSep 21Rosh HashanaJewish holiday
2029MonSep 10Rosh HashanaJewish holiday

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.