Yom Kippur, also known as the “Day of Atonement,” is one of the most significant holidays for people of the Jewish faith. The dates of Yom Kippur vary year by year, but its usually observed between the end of September and the beginning of October, shortly after the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.
So, when is Yom Kippur celebrated this year?
Yom Kippur 2019 begins on the evening of Tuesday, October 8, and lasts through sundown on Wednesday, October 9.
The Yom Kippur fast is observed for approximately 25 hours; this year, according to Independent, it begins at 6:08pm on October 8 and ends at 7:07pm on October 9. The start and end times are based on the time zone in which you live, which means that Jewish people around the world will be starting and ending Yom Kippur at different times.
Last year, Yom Kippur was Tuesday, September 18 to Wednesday, September 19. But that doesn’t mean the holiday always falls on a Tuesday and Wednesday. In 2017, it was observed on Friday, September 29 to Saturday, September 30. Next year, Yom Kippur is Sunday, September 27 until Monday, September 28.
According to Chabad.org, the Yom Kippur dates are based on when the “10th day of Tishrei” occurs each year (although it begins on the night of the 9th day). The holiday closely follows Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year, falling on the 1st and 2nd days of Tishrei. Tishrei is the first month of the Hebrew calendar’s civil year and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year; Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Day of Judgement.
According to Chabad.org, Yom Kippur was established as a Jewish holiday thousands of years ago:
Just months after the people of Israel left Egypt in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), they sinned by worshipping a golden calf. Moses ascended Mount Sinai and prayed to G‑d to forgive them. After two 40-day stints on the mountain, full Divine favor was obtained. The day Moses came down the mountain (the 10th of Tishrei) was to be known forevermore as the Day of Atonement—Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is traditionally observed by fasting from food and drink and abstaining from work, washing, conjugal relations, applying lotions, and wearing leather shoes. The hours during Yom Kippur are meant to be spent in the synagogue Although the fast only lasts for the 25 hours of Yom Kippur, preparation for the day of atonement begins 40 days prior to its start. The 10 days leading up to Yom Kippur are referred to as “The 10 Days of Repentance.” Special prayers are added to religious observances in the lead up to Yom Kippur.
On Tuesday, October 8, up until the minute Yom Kippur begins, expect that those in observation of the holiday will prepare for the fast by eating festive meals and foods, praying, and lighting holiday candles. When Yom Kippur 2019 ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 9, Jewish people who observed Yom Kippur then enjoy a festive meal to break their fast.
Yom Kippur 2019 is Tuesday, October 8 at 6:06pm (local time) through Wednesday, October 9 at 7:07pm.