As the New Year is celebrated in Israel
Jews celebrate their New Year – Rosh Hashanah, which falls on September-October (the month of tishrei). This holiday signifies the beginning of the year and symbolizes the day of the end of the process of creation of the world. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the lunar calendar, obligatory on the new moon, only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. These are the days when believers take stock of the outgoing year and plan things for the coming year.
When celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Jews perform tashlih – throwing pieces of bread or peeds into the river or sea, which symbolizes cleansing from sins.
Family and friends should be congratulated, give gifts, wish the best in the coming year. Families gather at a traditional table with a treat that is symbolic. They are apples in honey (sweet life), mug-cut carrots (symbol of wealth), hala with raisins (symbol of health), vegetables and fruits (symbol of rich harvest). Yom-Kippur is the Day of All Forgiveness and Remorse. The date of celebration of the New Year, January 1, 20 years ago in Israel was almost not celebrated. The appearance in the country of a large number of emigrants from the former USSR led to the fact that gradually this holiday took place here. In Israel it is called “Sylvester”. It’s not even a day off, except when the first number falls on Saturday. It is celebrated traditionally, under New Year’s TV shows, in a circle of family and friends, with olivier salad, caviar and champagne.
The most common religion in Israel is Judaism, but nevertheless, the Nativity of Christ is celebrated in the country as a celebration of all-state and world-class. Many religious pilgrims and tourists come to Bethlehem, where there is a festive service all night in the Basilica of the Nativity, the place where Jesus was born. This small town is transformed in Christmas days – on the streets there are fancy shining Christmas trees, shop windows attract customers with numerous goods, everything sparkles and spills over. Christmas services take place throughout the country, in the most famous temples: the Upper Cathedral Church, the Kafolikon, the Cave of the Nativity, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Nazareth, as December 25, by Catholic tradition, and on January 7 — according to Orthodox.
On Christmas night, believers can touch the star of Bethlehem in the cave where Jesus came to light.
Periodically, Christmas may coincide by date with the original Jewish holiday of Hanukkah (candle feast). This holiday originated as a tribute to the victory of the Jews over the Greeks, and it is celebrated during the week when one new candle is lit every evening in a special menorat candlestick.