The word “jubilee”—literally, “ram’s horn” in Hebrew—is defined in Leviticus 25:9 as the sabbatical year after seven cycles of seven years (49 years). The fiftieth year was to be a time of celebration and rejoicing for the Israelites. The ram’s horn was blown on the tenth day of the seventh month to start the fiftieth year of universal redemption.
The Great Jubilee in 2000 was a major event in the Roman Catholic Church, held from Christmas Eve (December 24), 1999 to Epiphany (January 6), 2001. Like other previous Jubilee years, it was a celebration of the mercy of God and forgiveness of sins. The major innovation in this Jubilee was the addition of many "particular Jubilees" for various groups of persons, and that it was simultaneously celebrated in Rome, Israel, and elsewhere in the world.The Year of the Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness (Leviticus 25:23-38) and all types of bondage. All prisoners and captives were set free, all slaves were released, all debts were forgiven, and all property was returned to its original owners. In addition, all labor was to cease for one year, and those bound by labor contracts were released from them. One of the benefits of the Jubilee was that both the land and the people were able to rest.