Yom Kippur means the Day of Atonement and is an important time for reflection.
To mark the festivity, traditions range from fasting to praying in synagogues.
Find out below everything you need to know about Yom Kippur, including how it’s celebrated.
What is Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is a day to reflect on the past year and ask God’s forgiveness for any wrongdoings. It is a time when Jewish people feel closest to God.
The festival is referred to as the Day of Atonement because it’s about attempting to right any mistakes and committing to not repeating them over the coming year.
Yom Kippur determines what the next 12 months will hold, as this is when God records his judgements of people in the Book of Life.
When is Yom Kippur 2022?
Yom Kippur falls on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, coming a few days after Rosh Hashanah.
This year, Yom Kippur starts before sunset on Tuesday, October 4, until after nightfall on Wednesday, October 5.
How is Yom Kippur celebrated?
Forty days before Yom Kippur, the blowing of the shofar – a ram’s horn, blown like a trumpet – begins every morning, and Psalm 27 is recited after morning and afternoon prayers.
During the week before Yom Kippur (known as the 10 Days of Repentance), special additions are made to daily prayers.
As some people choose to fast on Yom Kippur, the day before usually involves two festive feasts. The foods eaten may include rice, kreplach (stuffed dumplings), chicken or fish.
No work is to be done on Yom Kippur. People often spend the day at the synagogue, where five prayer services are held. The final service is called Neilah when God’s judgement on what the next year will hold is made final.
It is also customary to avoid wearing leather shoes, applying lotions or creams, washing or bathing, and engaging in conjugal relations during this time.
Another way of marking Yom Kippur is to wear white as a symbol of purity.
After Yom Kippur, another feast is held, commonly consisting of rich foods including sweet kugel (noodle pudding), bagels, soufflés, eggs, and cheese.