At Johnsons’ Christmas Corner we love to learn about holiday traditions that go beyond just Christmas. One we were always curious about was Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” in Hebrew. This is the holiest Jewish holiday of the year and ends the ten days of High Holidays or “Days of Awe,” which begin with Rosh Hashanah.
- – On this day, Jewish people refrain from work and all adults fast from sundown the evening before Yom Kippur until nightfall the next day.
- – This day is about asking God to forgive sins, reflecting on past mistakes accepting repentance, and praying.
- – Fasting is a way to cleanse and purify the body and soul.
- – Many will wear all-white clothing to also symbolize purity.
- – On the day itself, there are many traditional prayers. One of the most important prayers describes the atonement ritual performed by high priests during ancient times.
- – Yom Kippur ends with a single blast that is blown on the shofar—a trumpet made from a ram’s horn.
WHEN IS YOM KIPPUR?
Note that the Jewish calendar is different than today’s civil calendar (the Gregorian calendar). It is a “Luni-Solar” calendar, established by the cycles of the Moon and the Sun, so the lengths of days vary by the season, controlled by the times of sunset, nightfall, dawn, and sunrise. Yom Kippur is held on the 10th day of Tishrei, ten days after the start of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). This year Yom Kippur is sunset on September 15th until sundown on September 16th.
Learn more about Yom Kippur by visiting the links below: