Biblical Calendar Information:
Our halakha for these calendars:
- The beginning of the year is based on the aviv barley in Israel.
- The beginning of the month is based on the sighting of the first visible sliver of the new moon from Israel.
- We follow the “Actual Visibility with 30-Day Maximum” opinion, which states that a month can be 28, 29 or 30 days, but a month cannot be longer than 30 days.
- We do not follow the “potential visibility” opinion, which states that if the new moon is astronomically expected to be visible (not borderline) but is not seen due to weather, then it will be declared even though it was not visible. We believe that YHVH sets the times and the seasons and controls the weather. We are instructed to declare what we see, not to declare what is calculated that we may potentially expect to see. If we are meant to see it, then witnesses will see it.
- We show the potential visibility of the new moon on these calendars and post the actual sighting information with links to witness reports on our home page in the section “Rosh Chodesh.”
- The calendars of the 1st and 7th months are updated after Rosh Chodesh is confirmed to show the Moedim based on the above criteria.
- Our calendars are published here and are free for you to use and post on your website or blog. They may not be sold individually or as part of a package or only offered behind a paid subscriber wall. Credit must be given to hoshanarabbah.org.
For further study on a moon that is astronomically expected to be visible (not borderline) but is not seen due to weather, here is a synopsis of opinions on this subject from the Karaite Jews, who also follow the scripture commands to begin our months at the sighting of the first visible sliver of the new moon from Israel as well as using the abiv barley to determine the beginning of the new year.
Further Study — Calendar Articles on Our Website:
You are welcome to link to the free calendars we provide. We request that you please link to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/calendars.html instead of directly to the calendar .pdf or .gif files unless you are updating your link every month. We only keep the old .pdf and .gif files on the server for a short time. Each calendar has an anchor, so you can append the URL to link directly to the month. The anchors use the 3-letter month abbreviation followed by the 2-digit year designation, such as #sep09 or #dec12.
Planning Ahead for the Moedim:
Only YHVH sets the dates for his Moedim and he tells us when these times are in Scripture. We understand that we live in a fast-paced society that can be difficult to make plans if we don't know the dates much in advance. This is one reason many give for holding on to the traditional Hillel II calendar... because it just simply makes planning easier. We run into these same hurdles when reserving a venue 6-months to a year in advance, so we know it is doable, and when we sign contracts with venues, they have always worked with us when we explain why our dates may move a day or even a month out.
We publish the planning dates (anticipated and/or confirmed) for the Moedim on this page as well as flyers for the dates of the Miqra Kodesh once they've been established. Each year we receive e-mails asking when this or that Miqra Kodesh will be farther out than our published calendars and flyers cover. Again, we do not set the dates, but we are now sharing Sandi's personal planning calendar for the Moedim (view by month is recommended). The usual disclaimers apply as this is only a personal planning calendar that we are sharing in hopes that it is helpful to you and all dates must be confirmed. Just ignore most of the times of the day (such as "7:00 pm") as that is automatically added by the calendar software and Sandi ignores it, not bothering to change it, so it has no meaning. This calendar will automatically update online whenever Sandi updates her calendar. Please give Sandi any feedback or suggestions you may have.
2018 Holiday Dates (Anticipated only Until Confirmed):
These dates are anticipated until confirmed. Spring dates will be established when the barley in the land of Israel has been found in the aviv stage of harvest and the actual sighting of the new moon of the first month from Israel, which is expected 3/18/18. The Fall dates are additionally set with the sighting of the first visible sliver of the new moon of the 7th month, which this year is first possibly visible, but difficult, on 9/10/18.
If the new moon of the 1st month is seen on 3/18/18, then:
- Pesach (Passover — a preparation day) — Begins sunset 3/31/18, ends sunset 4/1/18
- Chag HaMatzot — 1st Day (Feast of Unleavened Bread — 1st day is a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 4/1/18, ends sunset 4/2/18
- Chag HaMatzot — 7th Day (Feast of Unleavened Bread — 7th day is a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 4/7/18, ends sunset 4/8/18
- Counting the Omer — Begins 4/8/18
- Chag Shavuot (Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) — Begins sunset 5/26/18, ends sunset 5/27/18
If the new moon of the 7th month is seen on 9/10/18, then:
- Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets — a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 9/10/18, ends sunset 9/11/18
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement — a Sabbath & Complete Fast) — Begins sunset 9/19/18, ends sunset 9/20/18
- Chag Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles — 1st day is a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 9/24/18, ends sunset 10/1/18
- Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day — a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 10/1/18, ends sunset 10/2/18
If the new moon of the 7th month is NOT seen on 9/10/18, then:
- Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets — a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 9/11/18, ends sunset 9/12/18
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement — a Sabbath & Complete Fast) — Begins sunset 9/20/18, ends sunset 9/21/18
- Chag Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles — 1st day is a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 9/25/18, ends sunset 10/2/18
- Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day — a Sabbath) — Begins sunset 10/2/18, ends sunset 10/3/18
For those needing to request time off work well in advance in order to get the days they request, we are providing this PDF document for your reference. The dates are estimates only based on the sighting of the new moon in Israel and may change:
Subscribe to Sandi's personal Rosh Chodesh & Moedim planning calendar (view by month is recommended)
Astronomy & New Moon Resources:
- Devorah's Date Tree
Karaite Jews’ new moon reports from Israel.
If you are on Facebook, ask to join. If you want an emailed new moon report each month, click the subscribe button below the header photo (uses MailChimp).
- Israeli New Moon Society
Israeli New Moon Society “presents the subject from the point of view of Rabbinical Orthodox Judaism.” They offer LunaCal software for Windows OS that “was written to predict the visibility of the Moon as a tool for observational lunar calendars.” We don't use Windows OS, so we don't have any further information on it.
- U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department Data Services
Complete tables for sun and moon rise/set and phases of the moon from anywhere in the world.
- Her Magesty's Nautical Almanac Office (British)
Click the “I accept” button at the bottom of the first page. Then select Moon_Viz: First visibility of the New Crescent Moon from the menu.
- HMNAO Einstein Project
Collecting research for accurately prediting the new moon. They will email you when the new moon may be first possible to see.
Warning: This site was developed for a religion that uses the sighting of the crescent new moon but it is not for us to explore. This takes you directly to a page that has information on the potential new moon sighting for the beginning of each month as well as software to assist you.
- The Karaite Korner
Karaite Jews’ new moon reports from Jerusalem — ARCHIVED.
This is no longer active, but is helpful for historical information. Isaiah 2:3 & Micah 4:2 say: And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of YHVH, To the house of the Elohim of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the Torah will go forth from Tzion And the word of YHVH from Jerusalem.
- Biblical Astronomy
Bob Wadsworth is an American astronomer who puts out an informative monthly newsletter about what is happening in the celestial bodies that relates to Biblical events and prophecies. He now offers his newsletter on a subscription-only basis. Check the archives to see if this newsletter is helpful to you.