When Is Yom Kippur and Sukkot 2023? Everything To Know About These Jewish Holidays

Yom Kippur 2023 and Sukkot are almost here! Yom Kippur and Sukkot's dates are based on the Hebrew calendar and vary each year in the secular calendar. Learn about the history of Yom Kippur and Sukkot, when to celebrate them in 2023 and the proper ways to commemorate them—they're very, very different!

When is Yom Kippur 2023?

Yom Kippur begins at the end of this weekend—at sundown on Sunday, September 24, 2023, and concludes the evening of Monday, September 25, 2023.

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What day of the week is Yom Kippur 2023?

Yom Kippur begins on Sunday evening and ends on Monday evening in 2023.

When are Sukkot and Yom Kippur 2023?

Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Sunday, September 24, 2023, and concludes the evening of Monday, September 25, 2023.

Sukkot follows just days later, beginning at sundown on Friday, September 29, 2023, and concluding at sundown on Friday, October 6, 2023.

Related: Three Things You Should Know About Purim

Yom Kippur History

In the Jewish faith, it is believed that shortly after the Israelites fled Egypt, they worshiped a golden calf, which is a sin. This led Moses to climb Mt. Sinai to beg for God's forgiveness for the Israelites. It was granted after two 40-day periods atop the mountain. Yom Kippur recognizes the day that Moses descended the mountain upon achieving the Divine Favor for his people.

Related: 10 Traditional Jewish Recipes That Work for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah 

Yom Kippur Facts

Yom Kippur is the considered holiest day in the Hebrew year and is known as the Day of Atonement in the Jewish faith.

It is marked by fasting from food, drink, bathing, lotions, perfumes, physical intimacy and leather footwear. Work of any kind is prohibited on Yom Kippur. The day is to be spent in prayer and asking for forgiveness.

Forty days before Yom Kippur, practicing believers begin blowing the shofar, a special horn, every morning and reciting the Bible's Psalm 27 following their morning and afternoon prayers. In some communities, they say a special prayer called a Selichot each morning during this period as well.

The week before Yom Kippur is known as the 10 Days of Repentance and features special prayers.

The day before Yom Kippur is typically reserved for feasting and preparing for the holy day, and honey cake is traditionally served as part of two festive meals before fasting begins. Holiday candles are also lit before the fast starts.

Celebrants also give extra to charitable causes, and religious services for Yom Kippur often have extra charity trays to collect for those in need.

Yom Kippur religious services include five different prayer sessions: Maariv takes place the evening that the fast begins, Shacharit is a morning prayer the first full day of Yom Kippur, Musaf and Minchah during the afternoon, and Neilah, which takes place just before sunset and concludes the fasting period.

Sukkot History

Sukkot celebrates the shelter God gave to Israelites on their way out of Egypt. Some believe he used clouds to shield them from the harsh desert sun, while others commemorate tents they stayed in throughout the 40-year journey to freedom.

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Sukkot Facts

The first two days of Sukkot are known as yom tov, during which work is prohibited. In the evening during yom kov, celebrants light candles and enjoy honey-dipped challah bread.

The next five days are spent dining in a sukkah, which is a tent topped with natural vegetation; some participants spend most of their waking time in the sukkah and not just their meals.

The final days of Sukkot are considered a separate holiday called Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The second to last day of Sukkot is the Shemini Atzeret, during which you still dine in the sukkah but without a blessing. During the Simchat Torah, the annual Torah reading cycle is completed and begins again and is celebrated with music and dancing.

During each night of Sukkot except the Shabbat, celebrants bless the Four Kinds: an etrog (citron), a lulav (palm frond), three hadassim (myrtle twigs) and two aravot (willow twigs). The Four Kinds represent different communities in Israel, and Sukkot celebrates the unity between them.

Here are great Kosher dessert recipes.