When is Yom Kippur 2024?

What Is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” in Hebrew. This is the holiest Jewish holiday of the year and ends the ten days of High Holidays or “Days of Awe,” which begin with Rosh Hashanah.

  • As part of their tradition, Jewish individuals avoid working, and all adult members observe a fast from the evening before Yom Kippur until the following evening.
  • This day is about asking God to forgive sins, reflecting on past mistakes, accepting repentance, and praying.
  • Fasting is seen as a way to cleanse and purify the body and soul.
  • Many will wear all-white clothing also to symbolize purity.
  • On the day of Yom Kippur itself, there are many traditional prayers. One of the most important prayers describes the atonement ritual performed by high priests during ancient times.
  • Yom Kippur ends with a single blast that is blown on the shofar—a trumpet made from a ram’s horn.
Blowing the shofar to signal the end of Yom Kippur. Photo by David Cohen 156/Shutterstock.

When Is Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur is held on the 10th day of Tishrei, ten days after the start of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).

Note that the Jewish calendar is different than today’s civil calendar (the Gregorian calendar). It is a “Luni-Solar” calendar, established by the cycles of the Moon and the Sun, so the lengths of days vary by the season, controlled by the times of sunset, nightfall, dawn, and sunrise.

All Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the date listed.

Yom Kippur DatesYearHebrew YearYom Kippur Begins20245785Sunset October 11 (to nightfall October 12)20255786Sunset October 1 (to nightfall October 2)20265787Sunset September 20 (to nightfall September 21)20275788Sunset October 10 (to nightfall October 11)

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Yom Kippur Traditions

The day before Yom Kippur (and fasting), a special and bountiful meal is enjoyed with a candle lighting at the end of the meal. Many people remember those who passed before them. Some Jewish people also visit cemeteries on the day before Yom Kippur.

Another tradition leading up to Yom Kippur is to perform charitable acts. Many people give money or time to the poorest among them.

After the holiday ends with the shofar, there is much celebration, music, and dancing. A festive “break-the-fast” meal is served with lots of satisfying breakfast foods such as bagels and spreads, kugel, blintzes, and egg dishes. See how to make your own bagels!

If you observe Yom Kippur, please share your traditions below!

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