A new year provides an opportunity to look back on important events or milestones and allows families to come together and think of their future. Each year, Rosh Hashanah welcomes delicious traditional foods that represent new beginnings and the circle of life. 


Challah bread represents the Jewish Orthodox faith with its braided or circular shape symbolizing continuity. This egg bread is prevalent throughout the year, especially at Rosh Hashanah, when families can share a loaf. It’s common to dip pieces of the bread in honey and is often served on Shabbat, as well as Rosh Hashana.

Honey Cakes

The sweetness of honey cakes portrays the hope of a sweet, fruitful new year. Every family will likely have their own special recipe for these delectable treats, with a wide range of flavor variations. For instance, some families mix coffee or tea into their honey cakes, along with the traditional cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to create a unique flavor profile. 

Couscous with Seven Vegetables

Many Jewish families choose to serve couscous with seven vegetables during Rosh Hashanah for a more savory selection. While the types of vegetables you choose can vary from one year to the next, the number seven represents how God created the world in seven days, making the number heaven-sent. The roundness of each couscous bead symbolizes how many blessings you hope to have in the upcoming year. 


Another popular savory option at Rosh Hashanah is whole fish. The phrase Rosh Hashanah translates to “head of the year,” practically making a “head” on the dining table a requirement. Instead of fish, some families will opt for a sheep or rooster, or for vegetarians, even a head of garlic or cabbage will do the trick. However, fish is a great go-to choice since it is easier to prepare and has many varieties. Also, fish signify fertility and abundance, two things everyone aspires for during a new year. 

Apples with Honey

Honey abounds at the Rosh Hashanah table, and nothing pairs better with its sweetness than apples. For many Jews, apples, which grow without protection from their leaves, represent the resilience of the Jewish people. Apples can also grow in a wide range of climates, making them adaptable and robust, two more qualities the Jewish people aspire to and want reminders of each Rosh Hashana. 

Just as Rosh Hashanah represents life coming full-circle each year, Quiring traditional upright monuments provide customized headstones for your loved ones who have passed on. These monuments can include specific Hebrew inscriptions, symbols such as the Menorah, and even photographs that can keep your loved one’s memories alive. 

The Circle of Life

As you reminisce during Rosh Hashanah about days past and people no longer with us, also think ahead to how you hope to one day be remembered by those you love. In connection with the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood, which can assist with Jewish cemetery rituals, Quiring Monuments aspires to help you with the final phase of life on Earth by preserving impactful memories forever. You can contact Quiring Monuments for more details.