Dress to Impress: What to Wear for Rosh Hashanah

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is approaching, and with it comes the perfect opportunity to dress up and welcome a fresh start. However, the question of what to wear can be daunting and confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the customs and traditions surrounding the holiday. Should you go for a formal dress or stick to something more casual? What colors are appropriate, and what should you avoid?

In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and recommendations on what to wear for Rosh Hashanah, ensuring that you look your best while honoring the significance of the holiday. Additionally, we’ll answer common questions such as what is not allowed on Rosh Hashanah, what is customary to wear to Yom Kippur, and what should a guest bring to Rosh Hashanah.

So, whether you’re attending services at the synagogue or having dinner with family and friends, this guide will help you choose the perfect outfit for the occasion. Let’s dive in and get ready to impress this Rosh Hashanah!

What is Not Allowed on Rosh Hashanah

As with any religious holiday, Rosh Hashanah also has certain restrictions on what is not allowed during the celebration. Here are some things you should avoid during the holiday:

1. Work

On Rosh Hashanah, work is strictly prohibited, and this includes things like driving, writing, or turning on/off electric devices. It is a time to rest and focus on spiritual matters.

2. Fasting

Although fasting is common in Judaism, it is not allowed during Rosh Hashanah. The holiday is a time of celebration and feasting and is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.

3. Cutting Hair and Nails

Trimming your hair or nails during Rosh Hashanah is seen as an unfavorable sign. It is believed that this practice can cause damage to your health or bring bad luck.

4. Using Perfumes or Oils

Using perfumes or oils during Rosh Hashanah is not recommended. It is believed that the strong scent can cause a disturbance in one’s focus and connection with oneself and God.

5. Handling Money


Rosh Hashanah is not the time to handle money, and it is considered bad luck to do so. This also applies to buying or selling any goods or making business transactions.


6. Arguing or Fighting

Rosh Hashanah is a time for forgiveness and unity, and it is important to avoid arguments or fights during the holiday. It is a time to let go of grudges and focus on positivity and love.

In summary, Rosh Hashanah is a time for spiritual reflection and renewal. To honor the holiday, it is essential to avoid work, fasting, cutting hair and nails, using perfumes or oils, handling money, and arguing or fighting. By following these restrictions, you can ensure a meaningful and peaceful celebration.

What is customary to wear to Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is one of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. It is a day of fasting and repentance, where Jews around the world seek forgiveness for their sins and cleanse their souls. When it comes to attire on Yom Kippur, there are certain customs and traditions that people follow. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear on this important day:

White attire

Wearing white is a common tradition on Yom Kippur. It is believed that white represents purity, and on this day, Jews strive to attain a state of purity and forgiveness. White clothing is also a way to symbolize the forgiveness of sins, as it is said that God will turn people’s sins as white as snow.

Modest clothing

Yom Kippur is a solemn and serious occasion, so it is important to dress appropriately. It is customary to wear modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees, and avoid anything too revealing or tight-fitting. This is done out of respect for the sanctity of the day.

Comfortable footwear

Since Yom Kippur involves a lot of fasting and prayer, it is important to wear comfortable footwear, as people are often standing or sitting for long periods of time. Many people opt for simple, comfortable shoes like sneakers or flats.

No leather

Another custom on Yom Kippur is to refrain from wearing leather. This is because leather is often associated with luxury and extravagance, and on this day, Jews are meant to focus on their own mortality and humility. Instead, people often wear cloth or fabric shoes as a sign of humility.


Head coverings

For men, wearing a kippah or yarmulke is customary, as it is a sign of respect and reverence. Women may also choose to cover their hair with a scarf or hat. These head coverings are a way to show humility and devotion to God.


Key takeaways

  • White clothing is commonly worn on Yom Kippur as a symbol of purity and forgiveness.
  • Modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees is seen as respectful attire for this solemn occasion.
  • Comfortable footwear is important on this day, as people often stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • Leather is typically avoided as a symbol of humility.
  • Head coverings, such as kippahs or scarves, are often worn as a sign of reverence and devotion.

In conclusion, what you wear on Yom Kippur is a reflection of the solemnity and sanctity of the day. By following these customs and traditions, Jews can focus on achieving a state of purity, repentance, and humility.

What to Bring as a Guest to Rosh Hashanah Celebration

Rosh Hashanah is already close, and you’ve been invited to a celebration by a close friend or family member. You might be wondering what you could bring as a gift to your host. Well, below are some gift ideas that your host or hostess will find thoughtful, practical, and appreciated.

Wine or Grape Juice

Wine or grape juice is a staple gift idea for Rosh Hashanah. During Rosh Hashanah dinner, it is customary to perform a birkat hamazon, a Jewish prayer expressing thankfulness after meals, with a cup of wine or grape juice. So, gifting your host with a beautifully wrapped bottle of wine or grape juice is always appreciated.


Honey is another traditional gift idea for Rosh Hashanah. As the Jewish New Year symbolizes a sweet start to the year, honey is often used to signify just that. You can get honey in small jars and add a personal touch by attaching a sweet note stating how much you appreciate your host’s friendship.

Challah or Dessert

Ask your host or hostess if they need any food items for the Rosh Hashanah dinner. If they say yes, then consider bringing challah bread or a dessert. With many dietary restrictions during Rosh Hashanah, make sure the food you bring is kosher or at least kosher-style.

Personalized Gifts

If you have a good rapport with your host, bringing a personalized gift will surely wow them. Personalized gifts such as photo frames, customized clocks, or picture albums are great ideas that your host will treasure and use for years to come.

Rosh Hashanah Greeting Cards

Another thoughtful gift idea is to bring a Rosh Hashanah greeting card. When picking the card, select one that speaks to the spirit of the holiday and adds character and personality to the gift.

Now that you know what you can bring as a guest to a Rosh Hashanah celebration, you can make a lasting impression on your host. However, the best gift you can give your host is your presence and participation in the festivities. Share in the holiday spirit by engaging in conversations, helping with the cooking, playing games, or even dancing to traditional Jewish songs. Enjoy the celebration, and may this Jewish New Year be sweet and fulfilling!

You May Also Like