Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown Wednesday and continues till nightfall Friday.
Rosh Hashanah means head of the year. It is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent.
Jews traditionally gather in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah for extended services that follow the liturgy of a special prayer book. At specific times throughout the service, a shofar, or hollowed out rams horn, is blown. The commandment to hear the shofar, a spiritual wake-up call, is special to this time of year.
Rosh Hashanah customs also include eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a sweet new year.