Simanim for Rosh Hashanah vary based on your tradition. Commonly, people have apples, honey, round challah, and often carrots. My husband comes from a Turkish background (Sefardic), and here is what we use along with my plan for preparing the food this year in parentheses:
- Apples : (served plain, red, green, and gold)
- Honey : (served plain, several flavors, honeycomb?)
- Dates : (fresh, served plain)
- Banana : (served plain – let kids prepare)
- Leek: (Leek patties, a Turkish take)
- Swiss Chard : (Sauteed with garlic and cumin)
- Black eyed peas : (Lubiya: Turkish, with spiced tomato sauce, often scooped up with cornbread)
- Gourd : (roasted squash with brown sugar)
- Pomegranate : (served plain)
- Head of the fish/lamb/ram : roasted with mint and lemon juice
Another really interesting idea I have heard is to make a “simanim soup,” and just put all of the veggie types of simanim into a broth-based soup (like the traditional chicken soup). You could easily add a gourd, like pumpkin or butternut squash chunks, leeks, and the black eyed peas–and maybe some swiss chard, too! When you are going to make the Yehi ratzon on the food, spoon up a mouthful of that food. A very time-saving way to do it! I’m considering changing over, but dh likes some of the ones that we traditionally use, so we’ll have to see.
Here is a good explanation of some common simanim.
What simanim do you use? How do you prepare them?