Yom Kippur Fast Facts

CNN —  

Here’s a look at the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

September 15-16, 2021 - Yom Kippur begins at sundown on September 15 and ends at nightfall on September 16.

September 27-28, 2020 - Yom Kippur began at sundown on September 27 and ended at nightfall on September 28.

The Day of Atonement is considered the most important and sacred of Jewish religious holidays. It falls on the 10th day of the Jewish lunar month of Tishrei.

Other Facts

The dates on the Jewish calendar known as the “10 days of repentance” begin with Rosh Hashanah (New Year’s) and end with Yom Kippur.

On Yom Kippur, Jewish people atone for their sins from the past year. They ask for forgiveness from God and from other people.

It is a day of fasting, repentance and worship. In addition to refraining from eating and drinking, those observing the holiday do not bathe, they do not wear leather shoes or gold jewelry and they do not engage in spousal intimacy.

The services during Yom Kippur are held continuously through the day and include readings from the Torah and the reciting of penitential prayers.

Yom Kippur services conclude with closing prayers and the blowing of the shofar, a ritual musical instrument carved from the horn of a ram.