It is almost time to celebrate one of the most important Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashanah. Come September 20th at sundown, the Jewish New Year begins. Rosh Hashanah, for those who do not know, is the Jewish New Year that is celebrated from sundown to sundown. On this influential holiday, our actions will have a significant effect on the upcoming new year.

As per tradition passed down by ancestors, most Jewish households will more or less serve the following dishes at their Rosh Hashanah meal. Come this Jewish New Year, make sure to be extra intentional with the Rosh Hashanah foods you are eating and what they symbolize in our culture.

1. Apples and Honey

Each year, everybody looks forward to this staple Rosh Hashanah dish. Apples and honey are an excellent combination, and the sweetness will be sure to put a smile on your face. The honey symbolizes the beginning of a sweet new year, so make sure to eat as much as possible. 

2. Challah

A warm, delicious dough that is baked to perfection, challah is a must at any Jewish holiday. During Rosh Hashanah, challah will usually be made with cinnamon or raisins to add additional sweetness for the new year. Additionally, a circular challah is made to symbolize the end of a full year and the beginning of a new year, or a cycle. One thing's for sure — everybody will be fighting over this delicious golden braided bread. 

#SpoonTip: Try making your own bread this year with this cinnamon challah recipe.

3. Pomegranates 

Pomegranates are another sweet food to add to the Rosh Hashanah meal. This luscious fruit will make your teeth red, but it's filled with great flavor. Pomegranates are packed full of seeds and just like the fruit, we hope that we'll have that same full virtue in the upcoming year. 

4. Fish Head

A fish head is a common dish at a Rosh Hashanah dinner. The head symbolizes the fact that we are leaders, not followers (the end of the tail). This means that we should look forward toward the upcoming year and make progress, rather than looking behind us in the past. Who wouldn't want to stare at a fish head while enjoying a nice meal with family?

5. Leeks

The word leek in Hebrew is kareyt which translates to the English word "cut." This symbolic vegetable is placed on the Rosh Hashanah table to remind us that those who wish hatred upon us be "cut off" and disregarded. Even though this may seem a bit dark, this symbolic vegetable helps people focus on the hope that the future will bring. Good chives only on this holiday. 

6. Wine

Lehayim! Or the English translation — to life! At any Jewish holiday, there is always a excess of wine at the table. This symbolic drink gives a toast to the new year, and even children will partake with sparkling or regular grape juice.  A meal would not be complete without a big glass of Manischewitz (a kosher-certified) wine.  

Come this Rosh Hashanah, gather around the table with your family and enjoy all the delicious symbolic food. May you all have a sweet new year!