Our friends at Israel21c have compiled some interesting facts about the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown today! For many Jews, this holiday will include honey and pomegranates, and possibly Nerf balls and carp.
1. Never on a Sunday
The first day of Rosh Hashana will never be on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday (this year, the holiday is Monday and Tuesday). Because all Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before and end at nightfall of the next day, the modern Hebrew calendar is designed so as not to interfere with Sabbath preparations. As such, Yom Kippur cannot fall on a Friday or Sunday and that means Rosh Hashana – which occurs 10 days prior – cannot fall on a Wednesday or Friday. The Jewish New Year cannot fall on a Sunday either, so that the holiday of Hoshana Rabba at the end of Sukkot does not fall on a Saturday, which would make it impossible to carry out certain rituals associated with the holiday. The four days on which Rosh Hashana are allowed to fall are also called the “four gates.”