The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated on the first and second days of the Jewish month of Tishri (falling in September or October).
It begins the observance of the Ten Penitential Days, a period ending with Yom Kippur that is the most solemn of the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the High Holy Days.
Early Jews often made noise at the New Year to drive away demons. This has transformed into a blowing of the horn to prefigure the moment when God would destroy the evil in the world, "blow the ram's horn, and come with the whirlwinds". At that moment God will be king over all the earth, as he is now king over those who accept him in a renewal of commitment on Rosh Hashanah.
In the synagogue, a shofar, or ram's horn, is blown to remind our people to thing of God and their fellow-men, and to remember to act nobly and do good deeds during the months to come. At home apples and hallah are dipped into honey, as a symbol of our hope that the New Year will be a sweet and joyous one.