It's an early Jewish New Year in 2013 as Jews in McLean and all over will ring in 5774 on Wednesday night through Friday.
Rosh Hashanah, which occurs 143 days after Passover according to the Gregorian calendar, will be the earliest it has been since 1899.
Jews typically celebrate the holiday by attending services to hear the blowing of the shofar, or ram's horn, and welcome the new year. They also celebrate with traditional meals that include a round challah bread that represents the circle of life and apples and honey for a sweet new year.
Rosh Hashanah, which literally means “head of the year,” signals the beginning of the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement — this year Sept. 13 and 14 — marks the end, and together they are two of the holiest days for Jews.
Like most New Year celebrations, Rosh Hashanah is a time of introspection and a time to bring about changes in the coming year. The traditional blowing of the shofar during services on Rosh Hashanah marks a time to contemplate past mistakes and find ways to make things right.
While most local synagogues require advance tickets to services, there are a couple of free, last-minute options.
Online registration has closed at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, though the temple is hosting alternative services that are open to the public. Tickets for Erev Rosh Hashanah or Erev Yom Kippur are $25 each and required for admission. The services will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Erev Rosh Hashanah) and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 (Erev Yom Kippur) at George Mason High School in Falls Church. More info here.
Shoreshim of Reston will hold services Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anne's Church in Reston. No tickets required. More info here.