HEBREWS/BIBLICAL NEW YEAR
“In our hearts those of us who know anything worth knowing know that in March a new year begins, and if we plan any new leaves, it will be when the rest of Nature is planning them too.”
―Joseph Wood Krutch
Exodus 13:4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.
Deuteronomy 16:1 OBSERVE THE MONTH OF ABIB, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
Exodus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, 2 THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU THE BEGINNING OF MONTHS: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
1. fresh, young barley ears, barley
2. month of ear-forming, of greening of crop, of growing green Abib, month of exodus and passover (March or April)
*Biblical New Year begins in the Spring=March
April 1 or April Fools’ Day is when people around the world play practical jokes on each other. This day has no definite origin but is commonly associated with France changing from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian in 1582. News of the switch traveled slowly so some people continued to celebrate the first of the year based on the Julian calendar, which placed it the last week in March through April 1 instead of the first day of January. April Fools’ history is tied to the Gregorian calendar because those who were not aware of the new date for the New Year ended up being the butt of jokes.
The Julian calendar was put in place in 46 B. C. by Julius Caesar. It was off by 11 minutes so, over time, the miscalculation increased. Easter, which had been observed on March 21, was getting farther away each year from the spring equinox. The idea of a reformed calendar had been debated by popes and other hierarchy of the Catholic Church for hundreds of years. Leading astronomers were consulted and ideas ranged from omitting one leap day every 134 years in order to correct the solar cycle, omitting one day every 304 years to correct the lunar cycle, omitting seven days in one year for the solar cycle and three days in one year to correct the lunar cycle.
The papal commission asked the astronomer Copernicus for his opinion in 1514. He felt there was not enough known about the motions of the sun and moon to reform the calendar. He continued with his observations for 10 more years and, later, wrote his De Revolitionibus Orbium Celestium (1543). This work was used compute tables that would be the basis for the proposed reform.
The Italian scientist, Aloisius Lilius, developed the new the new system. He realized that under the Julian calendar, an extra day was added every four years in February. This eventually made the calendar too long so he came up with a different plan. He added leap days in years only divisible by four. If that same year was also divisible by 100, no extra day was added. However, if the year was divisible by 400, that year would have a leap day.
The Council of Trent had called for reform in 1563. Pope Gregory unveiled the new calendar in 1582. Originally devised just for the Catholic Church, Spain, Portugal and Italy began using the system for civil matters as well as religious. Protestants rejected it because it came from the Catholic Church. In 1700, Protestant Germany switched to using the Gregorian calendar and England adapted it in 1752. When England made the switch, Parliament deleted 11 days so when citizens went to bed on Sept. 2, the next day was Sept. 14, 1752. This prompted Benjamin Franklin to marvel at how pleasant is was for an old man to go to bed on Sept. 2nd but not have to get up until the 14th.