Yom Kippur, also known as the Day Of Atonement, is the Jewish holiest day. It is celebrated on the evening of September 29 and ends on the evening of September 30 in 2017. The holiday does not always fall on the same date because it follows a lunar calendar. Therefore, the date changes every year. Yom Kippur in 2017 is especially significant because it falls on the Jewish Sabbath. Because of that day and the holiday, Jews are forbidden to do any work. Many secular Jews observe Yom Kippur even if they don't celebrate the other Jewish holidays.

Fasting and praying

Jews and people from other religions believe that by avoiding food, drink, and other pleasures for a certain period of time can help them atone for their sins and reflect on how to have a better life. Therefore, Yom Kippur is the day observed by fasting and praying.

Jews around the world eat nothing during the 24-hour period, and most of them spend the entire day attending at least five prayer services in the synagogues. They pray and ask God to forgive them for the sins they committed during the last year against God and against other people.

They also reflect on the upcoming year with the hope that it will be better. Some Jews also donate money to a charity on the Day of Atonement.

During this holy day, Jews may observe traditions other than fasting and praying. The main thing is to refrain from eating or drinking anything. Other traditions that are followed include not wearing leather shoes, no marital relations, no bathing and no anointing self with lotions or perfumes.

The point of this is to fast from things that give pleasure.

After the day is over, family members and friends get together and break the fast by having breakfast. Their first meal after fasting usually includes eggs, bagels, fruit, noodle kugel and cheese blintzes. Later, they will enjoy a feast together that may include fish, Challah bread, and apples dipped in honey symbolizing the sweetness of the upcoming year.

Another Jewish holiday

Yom Kippur is the second Jewish holiday celebrated in September. While Yom Kippur is celebrated on only one day, Rosh Hashanah was celebrated earlier this month during a two-day period from the evening of Wednesday, September 20 to the evening of Friday, September 22. There was no fasting during that holiday, but prayers were involved as well as attending services.

On Rosh Hashanah, Jews enjoyed a festive meal together with foods that mean something special to them. Apples were dipped in honey and fish are eaten on both holidays.

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