Life&Culture

Jews in Mumbai bring in 5778th new year

Jews in Mumbai bring in 5778th new year

Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish new year, is marked by the sounding of the shofar, a ram's horn, that serves as a call to repent for sin and seek God's forgiveness.

Literally meaning "the head of the year" in Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah is usually celebrated in September, although its exact date moves every year as the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle. Like with many Jewish holidays, it's essentially an excuse to get together with your family and gorge on delicious food.

A custom called tashlich, which comes from the word "to cast", typically is performed on Rosh Hashanah at a body of water.

Rosh Hashanah 2017 begins at sundown on September 20 and continues through nightfall till September 22 sunset.

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For some, Wednesday night marks the start of a new year. The first full day of Rosh Hashanah is this Thursday. Some Ashkenazi Jews place a fish head on the holiday table - replaced by a cow tongue by some Sephardic Jews - in the hope that God will make us "the head, not the tail" in the coming year. Jewish leaders say it's a time for reflection and repentance. A hollowed-out ram's horn, known as a shofar, is blown during services, which sounds like this.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, I wish everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah a sweet new year! Shana tova u'metukah!

If you're wondering how you can wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah, "Shanah tovah" is an appropriate greeting for Rosh Hashanah.