Discovering the Jewish Calendar

Would it amaze you if you discover that somewhere in this globe, a holiday is being celebrated the same day each year? Hillel II made this possible when he instituted in 358 CE the Jewish calendar and the leap year.

A Jewish calendar has months that have 29 or 30 days and the years can either be composed of 12 or 13 months. The reason behind this is to be in sync with the 12.4 lunar months to complete the 365 and days. In the earlier times, the start of the Jewish calendar will rely on the day the new moon was seen. The Sanhendrin will declare the first of the month, also called rosh chodesh once the people observed the new moon. More over, the number of months for the year is based on their agricultural cycle. Adar Bet or the additional month is added on the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th year of the whole 19 years cycle for the Jews.

Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew or Jewish calendar is the official calendar of Israel. Each month starts and ends once the new moon is seen. The months in the Jewish calendar are Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat and Adar. The leap year in Jewish calendars makes it possible that each holiday is celebrated on the same season every year.

Jewish Festivals

Jewish festivals, which were brought up to the present, are strictly being observed in various ways. They are already part of the customs of the people and they have been mirrors of the national life of the Jews. Each Jewish festival marks the passing of the year for Israelis.

Jewish Holidays

And just like the any ritual, observance of the holidays is very important. These holidays give them the time to value significant historic events and the time to celebrate and reflect. These holidays promote the sense of being one with fellow believers. The most important holy days for the Jews are the Sabbath, which marks the pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot and the two High Holy Days, which are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Working on these days is strictly being prohibited.

Jewish days start during sunset so in celebrating the holidays, usually some confusion arises. Some still follows the ancient practice of adding an extra day to their holidays while others stick to having the holiday just for a day. But usually if a holiday should fall on a May 4, the family will get together on the night of May 3 and the holiday continues until the next day.

Jewish 2007 Holidays

Here are the dates of the Jewish holidays for 2007:
  • Rosh Hashana or the New Year for the Jews September 13, 2007, Thursday
  • Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement September 22, 2007, Saturday
  • Sukkot or Feast of the Tabernacles - September 27 2007, Thursday
  • Shemini Atzeret or Eight Day of Assembly - October 4 2007, Thursday
  • Simhat Torah or Day of Celebrating Torah - October 5 2007, Friday
  • Hanukkah or Chanukah or Festival of Lights: December 5 2007, Wednesday
  • Tu Bishvat or New Year for Tress - January 22 2008, Tuesday
  • Purim or Jewish Halloween or Jewish Mardi Gras - March 21 2008, Friday
  • Passover or Feast of the Unleavened Bread - April 20 2008, Sunday
  • Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day - May 2 2008, Friday
  • Yom HaAtzmaut or Israel Independence Day - May 8 2008, Thursday
  • Lag B'Omer or 33rd day of counting the Omer - May 23 2008, Friday
  • Shavuot or Feast of Pentecost - June 9 2008, Monday
  • Tisha B'Av or Fast for the Destruction of the Temples - August 10 2008, Sunday
Remember these holidays are very important to the life cycle of Jews. It pays to know the Jewish calendar so that you will discover how they give value to their customs and to historical events. Our International Planners include not only the Jewish New Year date but also holidays of other Jewish days. Buy an International Planner and you will have all the holidays for all countries and major religions worldwide.