Jewish calendar

Jewish calendar

The Jews took over from the Babylonians. Of course with minor changes, resulting from the difference of religion, cultures and customs.

The Jewish year began initially - as with the Babylonians - on the first day of Nisan, so in April. It was later transferred to the first day of Tisri (October).

The Jews also regulated the count of the years, adding to some of them the thirteenth month. They did so primarily for religious reasons. Namely - 14 Nisan, during a full moon, they killed the Easter lamb in sacrifice. On the second day, 15 Nisan, the Feast of Passover was beginning, ongoing 8 days. In day 16 Nisan was offered to Yahweh the firstfruits of barley. For these reasons it was necessary, make a month. Nisan coincided with the period, in which, in Palestine, ripe barley could be cut. So if it was stated, that barley for the day 16 Nisan will not produce the seed (and so when there was a clear discrepancy in the timing), the high priest added one month to that year, doubling the month of Adar, which is March. The new month was called Weadar, that is, the second Adar. Easter then automatically shifted by 30 days.

The Jews also took months from the Babylonians without any major changes, because even the names do not differ much. Oto one:

Nisan April Ab August Silicon December
Ijar maj In life September Tebet January
Siwan June Tisri october-


A wound February
Tammuz July Merches-


November Adar March

A 7-day week was also used. It started on our Friday at dusk and ended after 7 days, that is next Friday when dusk falls. Thus began the Sabbath - the day of rest (it ended at dusk on Saturday). The following days were named in the order I, II, III, IV and V. The last day before the Sabbath was called Parasew - preparation.

In Palestine, two public holidays were avoided side by side. Therefore, the first day of the year, celebrated very solemnly, it could not fall on days adjacent to the Sabbath. Wednesday was also avoided (3rd day), because it was uncomfortable to start the new year in the middle of the week, especially when the beginning of the year is fixed at the month of Tisri (October). If the first Tisri fell on an uncomfortable day, the year was increased by jedną dobę, the next year was reduced.

As it follows, the Jewish calendar was quite fluid. Perhaps the only one in the world, where the year appeared in six variants, namely: 3 types of the 12-month year (regular year Fr. 354 days, extended year - o 355 and a shortened year - 353 days) i 3 types of the 13-month year (year o 384, 385 i 383 days). The Jewish year therefore counted from 353 do 385 days. The years were initially counted from important historical events, np. from the exodus from Egypt or from the captivity in Babylon. Later, the count of years from… creation of the world. According to Jewish priests, it was supposed to happen in 3761 r. p.n.e.

From Babylon too, the custom of marking the beginning of each month was taken over. No one was officially watching the sky. The Jews were required to notify the judge in Jerusalem of the appearance of the young moon. And if at least five reported it - the judge said the beginning of the month. And when the Moon was invisible due to cloud cover or a sand storm? Then… the month was counting 30 days. The Jewish calendar was put in order in the 4th century. neither. This work was done by Rabbi Hillel, Patriarch of Tiberias. He introduced a 19-year cycle: 12 ordinary years, counting after 12 months (alternately 29 and 30 days) i 7 leap years, counting after 13 months (also 29 and 30 days).

The years were counted differently: from the "creation of the world" or from the so-called. Seleucid era – it was initiated by Seleucus I Nicator - the founder of the Greek Seleucid dynasty, prevailing in Asia Minor from 312 do 64 r. p.n.e., ahead of our Fr. 312 lat. Do XI w. neither. it was even more used than since the creation of the world. From that century on, the era "from the beginning of the world" finally prevailed.