Growing up in the US, Autumn meant bright crisp weather and a magnificent display of maples turning orange, red and yellow.

For a nice Jewish girl in Philadelphia, it also meant the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah literally means the ‘head of the year’. It is not only the beginning of the new year, coinciding with the new moon, but also the birthday of the world, the day of judgement, and a day of remembrance.

In synagogue, a special ram’s horn, called a shofar, is blown in ritual blasts. This is a spine tingling, magical sound that calls us to wake up, reflect, repent, rejoice! On Rosh Hashanah, Jews believe our destinies are recorded by God in the Book of Life. People bless one another saying, "May you be inscribed for a sweet new year."

At home for the family meal, the foods we eat are symbolic – the crown/head of the year, represented by a round sweet raisin bread and fish served with its head still on; cakes and apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year.

Jews reflect on their lives during this time, and some, like our family, go to a river to metaphorically cast away what hasn’t worked for us, sending our mistakes into the flow with a pledge to do better in the coming year.

The River Kent is perfect for this and come the week of 26 September, you’ll find us on the banks tossing in (many) crumbs.

Wave and say L’shana tovah.

Andrea Aldridge, Kendal