Traditionally, Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement. It’s a Jewish holiday for personal reflection, reverence, and for some, fasting. This approximately25-hour fastincludes no eating and no drinking from sunset to sunset on the day observed as Yom Kippur. You can learn more about Yom Kippur and its celebrations by taking a look at ourYom Kippur Cheat Sheet infographic.
When Does Yom Kippur Take Place?
Yom Kippur takes place on the final day of the 10 Days of Awe, which begins withRosh Hashanah. This year, Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 and ends at sunset on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Before sundown, we gather with family and friends and eat the last meal before the start of Yom Kippur and the fast. Kids under the age of 13 are not required to fast, nor are adults whose health precludes them from fasting, including pregnant or breastfeeding moms. If you’re not fasting but a loved one is, you can still support them during this holiday and partake in quiet time for reflection.
Yom Kippur ends with a big break-the-fast celebration. Family and friends join together with food they have prepared in advance. It’s traditional to invite newcomers and anyone who might be alone during the holiday. 18Doors has lots of recipes to choose from.
Yom Kippur Traditions
Families celebrate with a festive dinner and candle lighting before fastingbegins on Yom Kippur. Many individuals use this time to remember and reflect on family members and friends who’ve passed on. The day before Yom Kippur, some Jewish individuals visit cemeteries and pay respects to loved ones who’ve died.
Another custom in the days prior to Yom Kippur is doing good deeds. Many individuals volunteer to help the disadvantaged amongst them by donating money or time. Being generous at this time is considered a positive and joyful way to bring in the new year.
Once Yom Kippur ends, it is a tradition that someone blows the shofar, which is a ram’s horn trumpet, signaling the new year and a time to rejoice. The end of the Yom Kippur fast is celebrated with a lively “break fast” meal, which often includes bagels and pastries, kugel, latkes, and egg dishes. You can find great “break fast” options in our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippurrecipes section here.