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Is The Jewish Calendar Lunar?
The Jewish calendar is a lunar based system, one of the oldest still in use in the world today. It has been used by the Jewish people for thousands of years and is still very much a part of their culture today.
The Jewish calendar, or Hebrew calendar as it is often called, is based on the phases of the moon. It consists of 12 months and one leap month added every two or three years to keep it in step with the solar year. Each month has either 29 or 30 days and there are 7 leap years in an 19 year cycle.
The Jewish months are all referred to by the Hebrew names, which are based on the Babylonian names. The first month of the year is Nisan or Abib, while the last is Adar. The months of Tishri and Heshvan each have either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the leap month, or leap year, is added.
The concept of the lunar calendar is linked to the cycles of the moon. As the moon waxes and wanes, so does the year, with a new moon occurring every month in the Jewish calendar. The Jewish calendar reflects this cycle of life; each month beginning and ending with a new moon, and a full moon occurring in the middle. This helps to keep the Jewish people connected to the life cycle, their spiritual beliefs, and their ancient heritage.
The Jewish calendar is also linked to the seasons of the year, and celebrates a number of holidays throughout the year. Passover, the traditional spring festival, marks the beginning of the year. Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Sukkot, the huts or booths built and dwelled in to remember their time wandering the desert, is held in the autumn. And at the end of the year, the festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the temple in Jerusalem.
The Jewish calendar is a complex system, and its complexities are reflected in its structure. It is an important part of Jewish culture and heritage, and is a reminder of the many ancient traditions still held by the Jewish people today.