The blowing of the shofar at the conclusion of Yom Kippur is the culmination of a day spent fasting and praying for a sweet new year. There are a number of reasons given for blowing the shofar at this time. Here are some of them:

Commemorating the Jubilee

Back in Temple times, they would blow the shofar on the Yom Kippur that ushered in the Jubilee (fiftieth) year.1 That shofar blast would signal that all slaves were free to go, and all properties would return to their original owners.2 Now there is no Jubilee, but we still blow the shofar every Yom Kippur to commemorate what once was, and to express our hopes for the future.

Additionally, the shofar blast signifies that now, at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, our souls are “freed” from their sins.3

Victory and Confusion

By the time Yom Kippur draws to a close, we are certain that we’ve been granted a sweet year. Like soldiers returning triumphant in battle, we blow the shofar to celebrate our victory over the prosecuting angel, a.k.a. the Satan. This blowing of the shofar has the added value that it “confounds” the Satan as he prepares to resume his “regular job,” since it sounds uncannily similar to the great shofar that will herald the final redemption and put him “out of business” for good.4

The Ascension of the Divine Presence

When G‑d gave us the Torah, His divine presence rested upon the mountain. Afterward, a shofar blast heralded the ascent of the divine presence, the Shechinah. This is reflected in the verse in Psalms that states, “ G‑d ascends with a teruah [sound of the shofar].”5 Similarly, following the closeness with G‑d we’ve experienced over Yom Kippur, the shofar blast symbolizes the ascent of the divine presence, which has rested upon us throughout the day.6

Time to Celebrate the Holiday

It’s been an otherworldly experience, and now we’ve come out the other end. The blowing of the shofar publicizes to all that the evening following Yom Kippur is a holiday, and it is now time to celebrate the closeness we’ve achieved and the forgiveness we’ve secured during this awesome day. Indeed, it is a widespread custom to wish people “Good Yom Tov” (“Happy Holiday”) following Yom Kippur for this very reason.7

May we all be sealed for a sweet new year!