Did you notice a lot of strange posts on Facebook last night? Friends wishing others a Happy New Year (um, it's only September!?). Huh?
It's the beginning of Rosh Hashana, or the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashana is an ancient holiday observed on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. It's basically the birthday of the universe, the planet and humanity. So it's a pretty major holiday and one that calls for celebration.
But don't expect to see street parties and New Year happy hours at your favorite local bar. Rosh Hashana is also a holiday of reflection, so it is most often spent in the synagogue or eating multi-course meals with family and friends.
Some of those traditional courses include dipping challah and apples into honey and eating honey cake to celebrate the sweetness of the coming new year. For the next two days, feel free to greet your Jewish friends and co-workers with a "Happy New Year," or to take it one step further and use the Hebrew expression "L'Shanah Tovah" (pronounced "lishahNAH toeVAH"). It means "for a good year," and is a shortened version of the blessing, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."