Valley Jews mark New Year 5778 tonight

Rosh Hashanah 2017: When is it, and what does it celebrate?

Rosh Hashanah, also known as Jewish New Year, kicked off at sundown on Wednesday 20 September.

Rosh Hashanah - which in Hebrew translates to "head of the year" - is a time of inner renewal and divine atonement.

A central practice of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, or ram's horn, which we are required to hear during prayer services.

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

A number of symbolic foods are consumed during the festive holiday meals. On the first and the second day of Rosh Hashanah, local Jews, both Bene Israel and Baghdadi, will be joined by Jewish expatriates at the synagogues.

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the start of the Jewish new year according to the Jewish calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle.

Although the festival is a chance to enjoy time spent with friends and family, it is also a time for reflection, and begins 10 days of repentance for sins committed in the previous year.

Rabbi David Mason showing students at Simon Marks Jewish Primary School how to use a shofar, or ram's horn.

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with a candle lighting ceremony.

How can I wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah?

Shana Tovah U Metukah, (wish you and good and sweet year) is the traditional greeting exchanged amongst fellow Jews.

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