Festivals during the time of Jesus


Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit

What is a lunar calendar?  A lunar calendar is based on the revolution of the moon around the earth which takes 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds or 29.5306 days or one lunation.  Twelve lunations comprise a lunar year with 354 or 355 days.  It is short by about eleven days from a solar year like in the present Gregorian calendar.  A lunar calendar retrogresses through the seasons.

What is a lunisolar calendar?  A lunisolar calendar is a lunar calendar that  keeps the months in their proper seasons by inserting or intercalating a month every two or three years in a 19-year period called Metonic Cycle.

When the Israelites left Egypt in the 16th century BC, they were using a lunar calendar only.  It was the month of Abib then, springtime.  They used this lunar calendar in celebrating their festivals.  The months were numbered 1 to 12.  To mark the beginning of every month, the Israelites celebrated the New Moon Festival of Rosh Hodesh.  During the reign of King Solomon in the 11th century BC, some of the months were mentioned in the Holy Bible, like Zif, the second month (1 Kings 6:1, 37); Ethanim, the seventh month (1 Kings 8:2); and Bul, the eighth month (1 Kings 6:38).

The Old Testament mentions that there are only 12 months in a year.  These are in 1 Kings 4:7 and in 1 Chronicles 27:1.  There is no mention of a thirteenth month or the intercalation of a month.

When Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians during the seventh century BC (637 BC), the Israelites were brought to Babylon as captives.  While there, they learned about the lunisolar calendar that their conquerors were using.  They adopted it and when they returned to Jerusalem about 50 years later, they had two calendars in use—a lunar calendar and a lunisolar calendar.  Both these calendars were used until the Hillel II reformed the Jewish calendar in AD 358/359 to a form still in use today.  Hence, during the time of Jesus, the Israelites were using two kinds of calendars.

The following table shows the dates the Jewish festivals were celebrated in the calendars from 4 BC to 1 BC:

 Festival Calendar used When celebrated 4 BC 3 BC 2 BC 1 BC
Feast of the Dedication Lunar 15th day of the seventh month Adar 15, 3757 (Mar 11) Adar 15, 3758 (Mar 1) Adar 15, 3759 (Feb 19) Shevat 15, 3760 (Feb 8 )
Feast of Weeks or Pentecost Lunisolar Sivan 6 Sivan 6, 3757 (May 30) Sivan 6, 3758 (May 19) Sivan 6, 3759 (Jun 7) Sivan 6, 3760 (May 27)
Passover Lunar 14th day of first month Elul 14, 3757 (Sep 3) Elul 14, 3758 (Aug 23) Av 14, 3759 (Aug 13) Av 14, 3760 (Aug 1)
Feast of Unleavened Bread Lunar 15th-21st day of first month Elul 15-21, 3757 (Sep 4-10) Elul 15-21, 3758 (Aug 24-30) Av 15-21, 3759 (Aug 14-20) Av 15-21, 3760 (Aug 2-8)
New Year’s Day Lunisolar Tishri 1 Tishri 1, 3758 (Sep 20) Tishri 1, 3759 (Sep 9) Tishri 1, 3760 (Sep 28) Tishri 1, 3761 (Sep 16)
Day of Atonement Lunisolar Tishri 10 Tishri 10, 3758 (Sep 29) Tishri 10, 3759 (Sep 18) Tishri 10, 3760 (Oct 7) Tishri 10, 3761 (Sep 25)
Feast of Tabernacles Lunisolar Tishri 15-22 Tishri 15-22, 3758 (Oct 4-11) Tishri 15-22, 3759 (Sep 23-30) Tishri 15-22, 3760 (Oct 12-19) Tishri 15-22, 3761 (Sep 30-Oct 7)


The Feast of the Dedication was in commemoration of the dedication of the First Temple that Solomon built.  It was originally held on the 15th day of seventh month (Ethanim) during the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (1 Kings 8:2).

It is assumed here that the year AM for anno mundi of the Jewish calendar was already being used from 4 BC to 1 BC.  The year 3760 is 3760 A.M.

The season-dependent festivals of the Feast of Weeks (or Harvest Festival assumed to be on Sivan 6) and the Feast of Tabernacles (or In-gathering or Booths) were placed in the lunisolar calendar so that they would be celebrated in their proper seasons.

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8 responses to this post.

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  3. Brother, may you indulge me in my inquiry concerning the so-called “Sabbath.”

    Do you give credence to the assertion, by many, that the “Lunar-Solar” calendar, where the Modim fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, of every month, is the true calendar of YAh?

    Here is a paste of an assertion found on the net:

    Gen 1:14 beautifully explains how there is an appointed time and season for all things.

    ‘And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years”‘

    The word Moadim is the Hebrew word specifically referring to the appointed holy feasts (the appointed times on the Holy Day calendar) which we have been given as an Inheritance.

    In any case, when, according to you, is the next Shabbat?

    YHWH bless you.


  4. 20110408.0710

    Thank you for your interest in my weblog.

    I can say that God’s calendar is not the “Lunar-Solar” calendar that the Jews are presently using. It is a solar calendar, modified Julian and Gregorian calendars, and perpetual. The “appointed holy feasts (the appointed times of the Holy Day calendar)” would fall on the same date and day every year, “ thereby they will “be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”.

    The Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. According to the Holy Spirit who we (plural) talk to, Shabbat is Sunday or the seventh day of a person’s birthday. If he was born on Wednesday, his seventh day is Tuesday.

    The true God (not any gods but the one true God) bless us (you and I so that I would also be included even a mist of God’s blessings) now and always.

    With love, your brother in Jesus,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit
    Motto: pro aris et focis (for the sake of, or defense of, religion and home)
    http://aristean.org/ and https://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/
    “The Internet is mightier than the sword.”


  5. His name is not Jesus, but Ye-ho-shua, since there was no “j” in English, Latin, or Hebrew. You are very confused. Further, Sunday is of the devil.


  6. What idiocy, in genesis 1:14, it says “lights” not “light” singular as per the damned sun. You have not got a clue.


  7. 20110408.2020

    Dear Brother,

    Genesis 1:14 (King James Version) says “lights”. The World Book Dictionary says that “lights”, noun, plural, is “the lungs, as of sheep or pigs, used as food.” It may be a typographical error. Should be singular. Or plural of light because in verse 16, it says, “two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night”.

    If you are a Christian, please watch your language.

    With love, your brother in Jesus,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit
    Motto: pro aris et focis (for the sake of, or defense of, religion and home)
    http://aristean.org/ and https://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/
    “The Internet is mightier than the sword.”


  8. 20110408.2045

    Dear Brother,

    Is there no “j” in English? Maybe, Jesus is the English translation of Ye-ho-shua.

    Are Japan, Jamaica and Jordan the English equivalent of these countries?

    I know that back in his home country, his name was Gorgi but when he immigrated, his name was Anglicized and changed to George.

    Whatever the name of a person or thing in various countries, we refer to same person or thing still, don’t we?

    Did you know that 888 is the number of Jesus? That the crucifixion really did occur? Please read http://aristean.org/jesus888.htm.

    Say to the holy spirit who we (plural) talk to that He is “the devil”, if you could. I am just sharing to you what He said. It is up to you to believe Him or not that Shabbat is Sunday. Why? Does the Holy Bible say that the seventh day is Saturday? Please state it here. Why did Jesus violate the Jewish Shabbat?

    With love, your brother in Jesus,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit
    Motto: pro aris et focis (for the sake of, or defense of, religion and home)
    http://aristean.org/ and https://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/
    “The Internet is mightier than the sword.”


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