Rosh Hashanah (literally called "head of the year") is the Jewish New Year`s festival. It is celebrated in autumn in the month Tishri. The Shofar, a wind instrument made of a ram`s horn, belongs to the New Year`s festival in the synagogue. According to predetermined rites, different tones are blown on it so as to inspire reflection and blessings upon the Lord.
The dominant colour in the synagogue is white, symbolizing purity. Thus, the cabinet of the Tora, the cover on the desk of the prayer leader, the prayer leader`s clothes, and a part of the clothes of the entire congregation in prayer are from white material. On New Year`s Eve and the following day, people greet each other by saying: “For a good year you may be inscribed in the book of life”.
As is usual on days of feasting, candles are alight during celebratory meals at home. The blessing is said over bread and wine, with the bread dipped in honey this time and not in salt. After the blessing, the custom is to eat apple slices in honey, a symbol of hope for a good, “sweet” year.
On New Year`s Day, the “ten days of repentance” begin. According to tradition, the book of life is opened before God`s throne of judgement. The deeds of humans are documented in this book. On the first day – i.e. on New Year`s Day –, the judgement is written, and on the tenth day it is sealed. This (last day) is the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. These ten days are opportunities for self-reflection, repentance about wrong acts, and as a plea for reconcilation with fellow human beings, whom one has wronged.