2018 date - Sunset, 18 September - nightfall, 19 September
Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. On this day forgiveness of sins is also asked of God.
Yom Kippur is one of the most culturally significant Jewish holidays and is observed by many secular Jews who may not observe other holidays. For them the High Holy Days are the only times of the year during which they attend synagogue—causing synagogue attendance to soar.
Yom Kippur is a legal holiday in the modern state of Israel. There are no radio or television broadcasts, airports are shut down, there is no public transportation, and all shops and businesses are closed.
It is very common in Israel to wish "Tsom Kal" (an easy fast) to everyone before Yom Kippur, even if one does not know whether they will fast or not. It is considered impolite to eat in public on Yom Kippur or to play music or to drive a motor vehicle. There is no legal prohibition on any of these, but in practice such actions are universally avoided in Israel during Yom Kippur, except for emergency services.
Over the last few decades, bicycle-riding and inline skating on the empty streets have become common among secular Israeli youngsters, especially on the eve of Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv and Israel in general.
On Yom Kippur 1973, an air raid siren was sounded on the afternoon and radio broadcasts were resumed to alert the public to the surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria that launched the Yom Kippur War.