This is the one time of the year that we dip apples in honey (Try it! You'll like it!). The challah bread is round for this occasion (like the year). We convey wishes to family and friends for a good year.
And one way we do this is with cards. A longstanding tradition, first in Europe, and then transplanted here, is to send pictorial Rosh Hashanah postcards to our loved ones. Here's one from Germany, dated 1908.
Here's one I found in my husband's family photo album, with a photograph of unknown ancestors glued in the center:
Here's an insanely great dozen more vintage cards. Warning: They're addictive and you can find plenty for sale on ebay.
Several years back, I did a fabric postcard exchange with a Rosh Hashanah theme. Inspired by vintage postcards, I used rubber stamps for the lettering and lots of items cut from novelty fabric
First, Mr. Spock of blessed memory. I purchased the rubber stamp at a Star Trek convention in the 1990s. Sadly, this is my first Rosh Hashanah without Leonard Nimoy on Planet Earth.
hamsa hand; a metal hamsa charm is on the upper right. Spock's Vulcan salute is, of course, derived from Jewish tradition.
Like Leonard, Elvis Presley was technically Jewish. Really! Read this! And, like Leonard, Elvis was also a strong supporter of Jewish causes.
U.S. Presidents and Lady Liberty look worried about the future...Perhaps they were anticipating the 2016 Presidential election?
(I mailed it in an envelope so I didn't need room for an address).Fish is a traditional dish for Rosh Hashanah - this one was cut from an African fabric. (This tradition actually involves fish heads - or, if you don't have fish around, a nice juicy ram's head - oy vey! Read all about Rosh Hashana food traditions here.)
Also random, because mahjong is by now a Jewish (as well as Chinese) sport:
Making and trading fabric postcards, for any occasion, is a blast! And very simple. And therapeutic. Here's a tutorial:
1. Cut a couple of pieces of stiff interfacing to postcard size, 4" x 6" (Peltex, Peltex 72F, Inner Fuse, Fast-2-Fuse, in other words, stiff interfacing of any kind, ideally with fusible on both sides, but okay without.)
You'll also need a couple of inches of paper-backed fusible web.
2. Pick a background fabric for the featured side. Cut it to a little over 4" x 6". Adhere it to one side of the stiff interfacing. Use fusible web if your interfacing doesn't have built-in fusible. Trim excess. Don't put fabric on the back yet.
3. Gather all the fabrics with images you want to include in the top. Cut them out from the fabric, with a half inch margin all the way around. Apply fusible web to the back of them, then cut out closely, and arrange them on the background fabric.
4. Press, then stitch everything down. I often use invisible/clear nylon thread and a zig-zag stitch.
5. Trim stray threads, especially from the back. Once everything is stitched to the front, turn to the back (the message side.)
6. Adhere a rectangle slightly larger than 4" x 6" to the back. It should be light-colored so writing will show. Fuse it in place, and trim close around the edges.
7. Zig zag all the way around the edges. For extra neatness, do a corded edging - my corded edging tutorial is at the bottom of this post.
8. On the back (the message side), draw a vertical line 2/3rds of the way across toward the right. Write the address on one side, and your message on the other side of the line. Take it to the post office to see how much postage they want you to pay (each post office is different!). Put a stamp on it and mail it to your loved ones. (Note: If it has 3D elements, like buttons or beads, you may have to send it in a padded envelope.)