The High Holidays include Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The celebration of these days is solemn, but not somber. Readings, prayers, teachings and music are all part of the observance.
Rosh Hashanah is the two-day celebration of the New Year. It also marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Penitence, which conclude with Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah services include the blowing of the shofar, or ram's horn. Services are held the evening before the first day of Rosh Hashanah, as well as the mornings of both days.
The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is considered the holiest day of the year. Coming at the end of the Ten Days of Penitence which began on Rosh Hashanah, it is marked by prayer and fasting. Tradition says that one's fate for the coming year is sealed on this day. We gather the evening before with the Kol Nidre service, and resume the next morning, continuing for most of the day of Yom Kippur itself. The service includes prayers for forgiveness, for health and well-being during the coming year, and Yizkor, the memorial prayers for departed loved ones.