If you’re wondering how to celebrate a vegan Rosh Hashanah, then you’ve come to the right place! This special holiday marks the Jewish New Year (currently the year 5782) and the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, a ten-day period that ends with Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Rosh Hashanah offers Jewish people an opportunity to start their year anew and is marked with celebrations of life and renewal. A special prayer service is held at synagogue and a shofar—usually made from a ram’s horn, so unfortunately not vegan—is blown to mark important parts of the service.
Food is a central component to the holiday. Sweet foods like apples are traditionally enjoyed with honey and desserts are plentiful. Sweet foods are eaten as a symbol of hope for a “sweet new year” and challah is braided into a round shape to represent the past years of Jewish history connecting together.
Honey is off the table for most vegans, but that doesn’t mean you need to pass on the sweet tradition of dipping apple slices! Instead of honey, why no try apples & agave for a sweet new year! Or get fancy with some apples and date syrup! There are lots of vegan honey alternatives you can use, including:
Food is one of the best parts of any holiday! On Rosh Hashanah, the cuisine is particularly enjoyable as sweet and rich foods help invite a fruitful and pleasant new year. Here are a few must-have recipes for having an intentional, nourishing, and restorative Rosh Hashanah.
Apples are enjoyed on Rosh Hashanah as a way to ring in the year with as much sweetness as possible. This fantastic fruit also holds great signification in Jewish culture as being representative of God in ancient texts. Apples are usually dipped in honey during this holiday but instead of honey, we’d suggest maple syrup or agave! But why stop there? Go for the gold(en apple) and bake up some delicious vegan apple strudels or apple walnut pastry purses. If you want to keep things simple but would like a unique spin on apples dipped in agave, vegan caramel apples may be just the thing!
Challah is a special braided bread that has been a staple of Jewish cuisine for ages, most often consumed during ceremonial occasions or major Jewish holidays aside from Passover. It’s traditionally made with eggs but can easily be veganized using an egg replacer such as flax seeds. On Rosh Hashanah, rounded challah is often made instead of a braided challah. This reflects the completion of a circle—an old year coming to a close and a new one beginning. The Jewish Vegan has an excellent recipe for a vegan Rosh Hashanah challah that is both rounded and sweetly flavored with chopped apples and fall spices.
Soup is perfect for feeding large groups of people with a variety of invigorating flavors, ingredients, spices, and textures. Our chickpea noodle soup is perfect for both bringing in the new year and getting ready for the fall season with its rich array of ingredients! If you want to keep things a little sweeter, consider cooking up a pot of sweet potato soup instead!
Roasted root vegetables are an ideal Rosh Hashanah recipe. They’re on the sweeter side of vegetables and are a quintessential fall dish. You can also really sweeten them up with a splash of maple syrup or agave. Feel free to add in some apples as well for a more dessert-like dish!
Sometimes all you need for a great meal are a number of delicious side dishes. Wow your Jewish pals with veganized classics such as chopped liver and noodle kugel and top it off with a lovely coconut raisin rum tapioca pudding for dessert. Yum!
Rosh Hashanah is a great time to reflect on the past year and reset for what’s ahead. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a guide on what you’d specifically like to work on
Vegan Rosh Hashanah guide written by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.