Passover Question 2


Why is passover celebrated in April?
In Exodus it says passover should be celebrated first month of the year.


Passover is actually celebrated in the month of Nissan, which is the first month of the Hebrew Calendar.


Thanks for reply.


Remember that April 1st used to be the first day of the New Year? That’s why you have April Fools-- people who continued celebrating New Year’s Day in April instead of January, even after the calendars shifted from Julian to Gregorian.

So for the ancient Assyrians and Jews, who used a lunarsolar calendar, Nisan/Nissan was the head of their year, and usually occurred in the spring-- March-ish or April-ish, when the barley was ripe. 1 Nisan/Nissan is the day after the New Moon closest to (within fifteen days before or after) the Vernal Equinox.


I was under the impression that Easter was the first day of the year before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

Made it a little more difficult to synchronize your calendar, with a moving start of the new year.

What also made reckoning of time difficult was that people often referred to the church feast being celebrated on a date, as opposed to the month and day. “Martinmas” instead of November 11, example given.

Of course it becomes more interesting when the church feast was a movable one like Corpus Christi or Ash Wednesday.


Easter would have been close to the New Year-- in my head, I thought Easter was the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.

But I think the Orthodox say that it’s the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox-- and after Passover.

So when the calendar reforms shifted, you also lost a number of days. So under one calendar, the vernal equinox is on March 21st (give or take a day) and under the other calendar, you call that same astronomical event April 3rd (or whatever).

But I don’t think that anyone who uses a solar calendar-- which the Julian and Gregorian systems were both based on-- would put a lunar-based event-- like Easter-- as the head of the calendar. The math would be too weird.


From what I’ve seen it really varied from region to region.

“What year is it? For me, (writing this in January) it’s 1239. Christmas 1239 was two months ago. And 1240 starts on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation (or Lady Day, as it’s called in England). The idea behind this is that if we’re reckoning time from the Incarnation of Jesus, we should do it from the moment Mary became pregnant. Count back nine months from December 25…and you get March 25. Now this is just England. Other countries started their year at different points. The Holy Roman Empire used December 25 until the thirteenth century, as did France, England (before the Plantagenets), and most of Western Europe. In the early thirteenth century, Philip Augustus of France switched the beginning of the year to Easter, which adds the difficulty that the year begins on a different day every year. This seems to have really only have caught on in Paris and in court circles, but since most of our French records are products of these circles, it is important. Other dates found local favour, as R.L. Poole observes: " If we suppose a traveler sets out from Venice on March 1, 1245, the first day of the Venetian year, he would find himself in 1244 when he reached Florence; and, if after a short stay he went on to Pisa, the year 1246 would already have begun there. Continuing his journey westward, he would find himself again in 1245 when he reached Provence, and on arriving in Paris before Easter (April 16) he would once more be in 1244.” To add the confusion, Spanish custom dated the beginning of the anno domini (year of grace) to 38 B.C. To find this date, add 38 to the A.D. year. This was used in Spain until the middle of the fourteenth century and in Portugal until 1420. Sometime in the sixteenth century almost everyone switched to January 1 as the beginning of the new year, which had marked the beginning of the Roman civil year and had survived long after this in Spain, as well as being generally recognized as the beginning of the fiscal and civil year around Europe for centuries."


Passover starts on the 14 of Nissan. It lasts eight days (7 in Israel).

Judaism uses a lunar calendar; as such, Passover can occur in March or April of the Gregorian calendar.

Blessed is the Lamb who was slaughtered for our sins,
Deacon Christopher


There is a discussion of calendars on youtube dot com. This guy points out that what is January 1 should be referred to as Zero Day, or some more colorful name. Then, the rest of the year divides up into 13 months of 28 days each.

In this arrangement, The first of each month would be monday, the 2nd of each month would be Tuesday, etc. throughout the days of the month.

Everybody’s birthday would have to be adjusted, based on the number of days from the start of the year (Julian date).

With leap year, I’m not exactly sure where it would be best to put the extra day. There are 46 calendars in use around the world as it is. This would just be another one.

I think the best year to start this, would be when Jan 1 fell on a Sunday. Things would be messed up until we got used to it.


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