Academy BJE, NSW Australia  

Read the story then click on the links below it to do the exercises.


The Jewish calendar is different to the general one people follow in Australia, because the Jewish calendar is a lunar one.  This means that the day begins at sunset.  That is why our Shabbat starts on Friday night and not on Saturday morning.

From very early times the Jewish calendar was determined mainly by the movement of the moon around the earth.  The month began with the appearance of the new moon.  The evening marked the beginning of each new day and the beginning of holidays and fesival days as well.

It takes the moon 29.5 days to circle the earth.  In the Jewish calendar we have six months of 29 days and six months of 30 days.  This period of time is called a lunar month.  Twelve of these lunar months add up to 354 days, which is 11 days less than the year of the solar calendar.

If every Jewish year is shorter than the solar year by 11 days, then after three years it will be 33 days shorter.  Every 2 or 3 years a leap year occurs by adding an extra month.  This stops the years from becoming too short.  The extra month is called Adar Sheni (the second Adar) or Adar Bet  (Adar B).

The calendar tell us about great events in Jewish history.  It unites us with Jewish people all over the world as they celebrate festivals at the same time as us.  It helps us to work out the dates for bar and bat Mitzvahs and reminds us of the date of the anniversary of someone who died (to say Kaddish) or to light a candle in their memory (Yartzeit).

Out of the 12 months of the Jewish calendar, 10 of them have festivals. The months of Elul and Cheshvan do not have any festivals.

Here is a song called "Let's Sing the Months".  It is a fun way to remember the months of the year and where the festivals occur.

                    LET'S SING THE MONTHS

          Nissan Iyar Sivan Tamuz Av Elul
          Tishrei Cheshvan Kislev Tevet Shvat Adar

          Nissan Iyar Sivan Tamuz Av Elul
          Tishrei Cheshvan Kislev Tevet Shvat Adar

          Nissan has the Seders
          Lag B'Omer's in Iyar
          In Sivan we received the Torah on a tiny Har
          Tamuz has the three weeks
          On the 9th of Av we fast
          In Elul we do Teshuvah and hear the Shofar's blast


          Tishrei's full of holidays
          Mar Cheshvan has the fall
          In Kislev we have Chanukah
          Eight candles standing tall
          We fast on the 10th of Tevet
          In Shvat the tree's New Year
          Mi Shenichnas Adar Marbim Besimcha
          Chag Purim is here


My Quia activities and quizzes
THE JEWISH CALENDAR - Months and Festivals
Useful links
Last updated  2009/09/01 10:58:58 AESTHits  731