Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

January was not always thought of as New Year

Colin Nevin (Write Back, December 26) says that "even our New Year on January 1 is from a man-made calendar - not the one instituted by God currently in the month of Tevet".

As it happens, considering January 1 as the New Year was very recent and dates to the adoption in this country of the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century.

Previously the year began in March, which explains why the month September literally means the seventh month (and similarly for the next three months).

As most readers are probably unaware of the "month of Tevet", he should have explained that it is the current lunar month in the Jewish solar-lunar calendar which counts the months from Nisan, which also falls in the spring, though its New Year is the first day of the seventh month that falls in the Autumn.

A paper that I had written previously on the subject which is in my book A Time to Speak is scheduled to be published in January by Devora Publishing.

MARTIN D STERN

Salford, Lancashire

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz