Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year Begins - Reuters Reuters

Jews around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, which begins at sundown Sunday. The start of the year 5773 begins the 10 days of High Holy Days or Days of Awe, which are dedicated to serious introspection.

Rosh Hashanah, which translates to "head of the year," is also referred to as the "Feast of the Trumpets." Jews celebrate the New Year by blowing the shofar, a ram's horn, and sharing food including apples and bread dipped in honey.

"As the head goes, the rest of the body goes. And therefore, it's important for every Jew to utilise ... Rosh Hashanah to celebrate, to hear the shofar, to be involved with prayer. It is a great opportunity to be elevated, inspired and to recommit ourselves to our tradition and our people," Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov told the Detroit Free Press.

Jews also consider the day as a kind of judgment day, when God weighs up their good and bad deeds of the previous year.

Fish is also served as part of a traditional Rosh Hashanah meal; as fishes' eyes are always open they are believed to represent knowledge.

On the eve of the New Year, Israeli President Shimon Peres issued greetings to Jews all over the world and urged them to renounce all forms of violence.

"Israel is a pluralistic society of many shades, a society of Jews, Christians, Muslim Arabs, Bedouin, Druze and Circassians who live together in coexistence. All incidents of discrimination must be dealt with by the legal authorities," said Peres.

He added: "Greater emphasis must be placed on education toward tolerance and equality."