The period commencing with Rosh Chodesh Av (Monday, July 24th) is called the Nine Days. During this time, a stricter level of mourning is observed, in accordance with the Talmudic dictum (Ta'anit 26): "When the month of Av begins, we reduce our joy."
- Avoid purchasing any items that bring great joy.
- No home improvements, or the planting of trees and flowers.
- Avoid litigation with non-Jews, since fortune is inauspicious at this time.
- Abstain from the consumption of meat (including poultry) and wine. Sephardim start this restriction after Rosh Chodesh. These foods are symbolic of the Temple service, and are generally expressions of celebration and joy.
On Shabbat, meat and wine are permitted. This applies also to any other seuduat mitzvah -- for example, at a Brit Milah or at the completion of a tractate of Talmud.
Ahskenazim give the wine from Havdallah to a child to drink.
THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS ARE FOR ASHKENAZIM ONLY SEPHARADIM THESE RESTRICTIONS ONLY APPLY ON THE WEEK OF TISHA B'AV
- Refrain from wearing newly laundered garments, or laundering any clothes or giving to the cleaner. If the "freshness" has been taken out of a garment prior to the Nine Days, it may be worn. Fresh clothes may be worn for Shabbat. The clothing of small children, which gets soiled frequently, may be laundered during the Nine Days.
Clothes may not be laundered even if done in preparation for after Tisha B'Av, or even if done by a non-Jew.
- Do not bathe for pleasure. It is permitted to bathe in order to remove dirt or perspiration, or for medical reasons. This may be done only in cool water. Furthermore, the body should be washed in parts, rather than all at one time. Bathing in warm water is permitted on Friday in honor of Shabbat.