Yom Kippur 2021: Holiest day of the year in Judaism

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for people of the Jewish faith. This year, starts at sundown Wednesday, Sept. 15, and lasts until sundown on Thursday, Sept. 16.

In English, Yom Kippur is translated to "Day of Atonement."

Yom Kippur happens 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

During those 10 days, practicing Jews self-reflect, think about past sins and hope to be written into the Book of Life for the year to come.

Rosh Hashanah is a joyful occasion, where people eat apples dipped in honey, along with other sweets to celebrate a sweet and happy new year. Yom Kippur, on the other hand, is a more somber day, where Jews fast to atone for their sins.

It starts with the singing of a prayer called Kol Nidre, a deeply spiritual prayer that marks the opening of the Book of Life. Observant Jews then atone during their fast and hope to have their names inscribed in the book.

The blowing of a ram's horn, or shofar, during Neilah, the closing ceremony, marks the end of Yom Kippur and the start of the true, next Jewish year.

Once the sun sets at the end of Yom Kippur, Jewish families and friends gather together to break their fast.
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