Rosh Hashanah 2019: Jewish high holidays begin

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Monday, September 30, 2019
Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown, begins a ten day period of repentance, reflection
Rosh Hashanah celebrations include festive meals featuring apples dipped in honey, symbolizing wishes for a sweet year.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- When the sun went down on Sunday, it marked the beginning of the Jewish high holidays.

The first holiday is Rosh Hashanah which is the Jewish new year. The literal translation is "head of the year."

The holiday always falls in the month of Tishrei, or Tishri, on the Jewish calendar.

This year Jews will be celebrating the year 5780.

The celebration however is in stark contrast to other new year celebrations and is the beginning of a time of reflection leading up to the holiday Yom Kippur.

There are a few traditions including the blowing of a ram's horn called the "Shofar."

It symbolizes the Torah portion read on Rosh Hashanah which recounts the binding of Isaac.

Abraham ultimately sacrificed a ram he found stuck in a bush instead of his son.

There are also a few special foods that are eaten, primarily apples dipped in honey.

This is to symbolize the wish for a sweet new year.

Jews may also eat a pomegranate.

It is thought the fruit contains 613 seeds, one for each of the "mizvot" or commandments in the Torah.