Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

Yom Kippur 2019: When is Yom Kippur? How is Yom Kippur celebrated?


Also known as The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is seen as the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Jewish people around the world mark the festival with fasting and prayer in the synagogue. The celebration comes just a week after the Jewish New Year festival – known as Rosh Hashanah – ends.

When is Yom Kippur 2019?

The annual period is marked on the tenth day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar.

This year’s festival begins just before sunset on Tuesday, October 8 and finishes as night falls on Wednesday, October 9.

In 2019, that means Yom Kippur begins at 6.08pm (BST) on October 8, and ends at 7.07pm on October 9.

What is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is the culmination of the 10 holiest days of the years for Jews, a period of reflection beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish New Month.

This year, Rosh Hashanah starts on Sunday, September 29 and runs until Tuesday, October 1.

During this time, Jews ask for atonement.

Yom Kippur means “day” (yom) and “to atone” (Kippur), with followers vowing not to make the same errors over the next year.

How is Yom Kippur celebrated?

Jewish people must follow a strict set of rules for 25 hours, with five activities in particular prohibited.

These are abstaining from food and drink, refraining from sex, not washing, not applying lotions or oils, and not wearing leather shoes.

Over the course of the day, worshippers can attend five services at the synagogue.

Shacharit is the morning service and attendees will usually remember those who have died within the last year.

Many people will also choose to dress in white as a sign of purity.

As the day coincides with fasting, Jewish people must eat a breakfast and pre-fast meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur starts.

Kreplach, small dumplings filled with meat or mashed potatoes, are traditionally eaten.

Rice, noodles and high-carb dairy foods are commonplace while salt is generally avoided so people are not dehydrated during the fast.

Honey challah is also eaten as symbolic gesture to wish people a sweet year ahead, following the commemoration of Rosh Hashanah 10 days before.



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