What Time Is Yom Kippur Over? Sundown Marks End of Fasting for Jewish Day of Atonement

When abstaining from food and drink, a minute can feel more like an hour and for those fasting for Yom Kippur; food won't be brought back into their lives until after 6 p.m.

Known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jewish people and is a time to reflect on one's sins through fasting and prayer. Fasting isn't just about oneself, though. Abstaining from food and drink for about 26 hours is also meant to help foster compassion.

Yes, Jewish holidays are most often celebrated by those who follow the Jewish faith. However, it's not uncommon for Jewish people to invite their non-Jewish friends to come to their home to partake in a meal and learn more about a religion and culture outside of their own.

Since the festive meal can't be served until sundown on Wednesday, it's possible that both Jews and gentiles, who are planning on spending Yom Kippur with their Jewish friends, will be wondering, what time is sunset?

In New York City, sunset, according to The Weather Channel, will occur at 6:25 p.m. EDT, almost the exact same local time that Los Angeles should be able to break the fast. In Los Angeles, sunset is expected at 6:26 p.m. PDT, which will be 9:25 p.m. on the East Coast.

what time does yom kippur end sunset
Windmills are seen in the sunset in front of the North Sea in Bremerhaven, Germany, on October 5. On Wednesday, Yom Kippur fasting, which ends at sundown, will conclude for most people around 6:30 p.m. local time. (Photo by PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP) (Photo by PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images) PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty

Those waiting patiently–or counting down the seconds–until the sun falls below the horizon in Denver, can once again enjoy food and drink at 6:29 p.m. MDT, according to The Weather Channel.

People in Nashville, Tennessee, however, will be able to bite into a bagel, a staple for many families on Yom Kippur, earlier than New Yorkers or those in Los Angeles. Sunset in Nashville is supposed to occur at 6:19 p.m. CDT, equal to 7:19 p.m. EDT. When clocks in Hawaii read 6:11 p.m. HST, the sun should set and people can commence indulging.

Phoenix, however, is set to see an even earlier sunset. The Weather Channel predicted it would take place at 6:02 p.m. MST. While those fasting in Alaska will have to resist the urge to eat or drink longer than others, as sunset isn't supposed to happen until 7:06 p.m. AKDT.

Yom Kippur dates back to the Exodus from Egypt, a story that's found in the Torah. After God freed the Israelites from the slavery they endured under Pharaoh in Egypt, they found themselves near Mount Sinai. Moses ascended Mount Sinai to learn the laws from God and receive the tablets the Ten Commandments were carved on. While he was away, his people worshipped a golden calf and when Moses learned what they'd done, he became enraged and burned the idol.

Moses once again ascended the mountain to ask God for forgiveness, which he received on the 10th day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. From that day forward, the 10th day of Tishrei was known as Yom Kippur. Since the Jewish calendar follows lunar cycles instead of solar cycles, as the Gregorian calendar does, the date varies on an annual basis but always falls in either September or October.

Along with fasting, Jewish people will spend most of the day in synagogue engaged in prayer. Service styles may vary among denominations, but nearly all will conclude with a blast of the shofar, signaling an end to the fast.