We’re closer to the end of the year than the start already… Can you believe it?! This year is flying past. New Year’s Eve is a distant memory. Of course, not everyone celebrates the start of the New Year at the same time. January 1, aka New Year’s Day, is the New Year of the Gregorian calendar that many people around the world follow. Since then, you’ll have most likely noticed celebrations for the Chinese New Year, which fell on Friday 16th February this year. However, for followers of the Jewish faith, the New Year is now in sight! September 9th – September 11th, 2018 marks Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve!
From sundown on the first evening, the celebrations of Rosh Hashanah begin. Across the days that follow there are candles, blessings, prayers and the sounding of the shofar (the ram’s horn). As with many religious celebrations, food plays an important symbolic role in the observation of this important festival, so, what exactly are the reasons behind some of the foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah? Let’s find out:
Challah is a type of bread that is renowned all over the world and who isn’t partial to tearing a piece off a fresh, warm loaf and enjoying the fluffy, light middle and chewy crust? Rosh Hashanah usually includes this classic Jewish loaf prepared in round loaves as a representation of how one should knead the soul over and over, round and round, so to knead out the mistakes of the previous year.
APPLES and HONEY
Two foods most associated with the celebration of the Jewish New Year are apples and honey. Traditionally apples are dipped into honey and eaten to symbolize the hope for a sweet year ahead. One interpretation of the use of honey suggests that bees, with their ability to deliver such sweet goods while being feared for their sting, bear the reminder of the creator who also is both strict and merciful in his role.
The pomegranate is a delicious choice that many observers of the holiday choose to eat for a very symbolic reason. The many seeds of this blood red fruit, 613 seeds to be exact, are a reflection of the desire to fulfill the 613 commandments (Mitzvot) as mentioned in the Torah.
A popular Rosh Hashanah dish is Tzimmes. This delicious stew is hot and sweet and based on carrots. Not only is the stew tantalizing for the taste buds, but it also further promotes good blessings for the New Year.
At Jewish New Year celebrations, serving fish head is a must! The tradition of serving this delicacy is a representation of abundance drawn from the idea of fish swimming in large schools which produce plenty of offspring when they breed.
These are just some of the symbolic foods traditionally used when celebrating Rosh Hashanah; many families have their own favorites and special recipes! At NetCost Market, you can find everything you need to ensure a delicious, meaningful meal is shared with your family at this important time when welcoming in the New Year!