According to Jewish tradition, the world was created almost 6,000 years ago (of course, in those days, years were apparently a lot longer than they are now. Go figure). And so we celebrate the passing of another year, while welcoming the fresh start offered by the new one.
As with any holiday, there are associated traditions, customs and activities. When our family transitioned to Conservative Judaism some eight years ago, we adopted the practice of attending synagogue services for two days, not just one. It sounds counter-intuitive, of course: New Year's Day would seem to be, by definition, just the one day. But there's actually a very good reason for such an expansion: the opportunity for more food.
No, not really:
"Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as two days everywhere (in Israel and outside Israel), because it occurs on the first day of a month. Messengers were not dispatched on the holiday, so even people in Israel did not know whether a new moon had been observed, and everybody celebrated two days. The practice was also maintained as a custom after the mathematical calendar was adopted."
May the New Year be one of blessing, peace and health for all of our readers.