Shalom, everyone! Rosh Chodesh Aviv, the first day of the First Month, also known as Aviv, begins sundown Friday, April 5, 2019, on the Hebrew calendar, with the sighting of the new moon (first visible crescent). Aviv is also known as “Nisan” on the modern Hebrew calendar. Rosh Chodesh Aviv marks the first day of the ecclesiastical new year and the beginning of preparations for the annual mo’edim of Pesach (Passover), Chag HaHaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread), and the start of Sefirat HaOmer (Counting of the Omer). “Chodesh Tov” (“A Good Month”) and a “Happy Ecclesiastical New Year” from Gevirah.com to all who celebrate!
About This Month
Aviv, the First Month of the ecclesiastical Hebrew calendar, is a named month in the Tanakh. According to the Torah, Aviv marks the beginning of the counting of the months of the year for the religious/ecclesiastical calendar for marking the annual mo’edim (appointed times):
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you,” ~ Exodus 12:1-2
The word “Aviv” is a Canaanite-Phoenician word which has several meanings including “spring” (one of the four seasons), “green ears (of corn),” and the stage when grain seeds have reached full growth and have filled with the necessary starch indicating maturity for harvest. During the course of the Babylonian Exile, the first month was named “Nisan,” a word of Assyrian-Babylonian origin. In the Tanakh, the first time this month is called “Nisan” is in Esther 3:7.
Aviv always begins with the first new moon after the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. The first day of Aviv cannot precede the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox as this will cause the calendar to be out of sync, and the dates of the mo’edim to arrive outside of the seasons The Creator designated for them.
The following are the holidays and special events that occur during the month of Aviv (Nisan):
- 1 of Aviv – the first day of the ecclesiastical New Year
- 14 of Aviv – Passover
- 15-21 of Aviv – Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread)
- Ancient Calendars – Canaan
- Ancient Hebrew Forum – The Names of the Months in the Ancient Hebrew Calendar
- Feast of First Fruits and the Ancient Canaanite Calendar