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20 Essential Dishes for Rosh Hashanah

Celebrate the Jewish New Year with these symbolic dishes

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown this Wednesday, September 20. This celebration marks the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and celebratory feasts are held on both nights of Rosh Hashanah to mark a new lunar calendar year. The typical, traditional dishes and ingredients served at Rosh Hashanah are filled with symbolism, and generally all tend to be quite sweet, in order to wish everyone a sweet new year. We’ve rounded up our 20 favorite dishes that should definitely be featured on your overflowing Rosh Hashanah dinner table.

20 Essential Dishes for Rosh Hashanah slideshow

Rosh Hashanah always falls at a time of year filled with abundant, beautiful fresh produce. This is no coincidence, as the Jewish New Year celebrations represent the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest. Apples, squash, pumpkins, leeks, and pomegranate are all at their best at this time of year, and these ingredients should be highlighted in your feast alongside traditional beef brisket, sweet noodle kugel, and fresh fish.

Eating symbolic foods at Rosh Hashanah is intended to ensure that everybody has a good, happy, successful new year. Most meals begin with apples dipped in honey to set the celebrations off on a positive start, wishing everyone the sweetest of years. The wonderfully symbolic foods continue to be served from this point on. Round food is an important feature as it represents the ongoing time and cycle of the year, so be sure to bake your challah in a circle for this meal — and don’t forget to add raisins for a sweet touch. Pomegranate seeds should definitely be used to garnish many of your dishes, as they represent fruitfulness. And, of course, you should swap any bitter flavors for sweet ones, since you wouldn’t want to begin your year on a negative note. This gives us the perfect excuse to indulge in all the fruity, sugary treats and desserts throughout this celebratory, festive holiday.

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