This article looks at the yearly holy festivals of Judaism and shows what time of year they fall on the Gregorian calendar
Jewish Holy Days
Gregorian Calendar comparison
The feasts of the LORD. There were seven great religious festivals which were to be observed by Israel every year. Found in Leviticus 23
Israel’s religious calendar began in Nisan (in the spring), their civil year, in Tishri (in the autumn). The seven festivals of the Hebrews were included within the first seven months of the religious calendar: the first three feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) took place in the first month, Nisan; the last three (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles), were in the seventh month, Tishri. Between the first and last three was the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) which followed fifty days after the offering of the first fruits.
The following table correlates the Hebrew religious calendar with the one generally accepted
Nisan (or Abib) = March-April Tishri (or Ethanim) = September-October
Iyyar (or Ziv) = April-May Marchesvan (or Bul) = October-November
Sivan = May-June Chislev = November-December
Tammuz = June-July Tebeth = December-January
Ab = July-August Shebat = January-February
Elul = August-September Adar = February-March
About every six years an extra month (Second Adar, or leap-year month) was added because the
calendar was based upon the moon instead of the sun. All the months were 30 days long. This prevents the festivals moving round the year, as happens in the lunar calendars. This also enables harvest festivals to fall at set dates in the year.
1. The Passover, This feast is memorial and brings into view redemption upon which all blessing rests. Typically, it stands for “Christ our passover, sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7; cp. I Pet. 1:19). The Passover, v. 6 was the initial Jewish festival and took place on the fourteenth day of the first month, Nisan. It was first observed in Egypt after the slaying of all the first born of Egypt by God. He passed over the Israelite families that had the blood on their doorpost
2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, vv. 6b-8. This feast speaks of communion with Christ, the
unleavened wave loaf, in the full blessing of His redemption and of a holy walk. The divine
order is beautiful; first, redemption; then, holy living. Cp. I Cor.5:6-8; 2 Cor.7:1; Gal.5:7-9.
The festival began on the fifteenth day of the first month, Nisan, and continued for a week.
3. The Feast of First Fruits, vv. 10-14. This festival is typical of resurrection-first, of Christ,
then of those who are His at His coming (I Cor. 15:23; 1 Th.4:13-18). The feast, observed in
the same week as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was held on the sixteenth day of the
first month, Nisan, being the beginning of the barley harvest.
4. The Feast of Weeks, a harvest feast known as Pentecost, vv. 15-22. The antitype is the descent of the Holy Spirit to form the Church. For this reason leaven is present, because there is evil in the Church (Mt.13:33; Acts 5:1-10; 15:1). Observe, it is now loaves; not a sheaf of separate growths loosely bound together, but a real union of particles making one homogeneous body. The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united the separate disciples into one organism (I Cor. 10: 16-17; 12:12-13,20). Pentecost took place fifty days after the offering of the first fruits, coming at about the beginning of summer.
The wave loaves were offered fifty days after the wave sheaf. This is precisely the period
between the resurrection of Christ and the formation of the Church at Pentecost by the filling
of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4; 1 Cor.12:12-13). See Church (Mt.16:18,; Heb.12:23,
. With the wave sheaf no leaven was offered, for there was no evil in Christ; but the
wave loaves, typifying the Church, are “baked with leaven,” for in the Church there is still
5. The Feast of Trumpets, vv. 23-25. This feast is a prophetic type and refers to the future
regathering of long-dispersed Israel. A great interval elapsed between Pentecost and the Feast
of Trumpets, answering to the period occupied in the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church
Age. Study carefully Isa.18:3; 27:13 (with contexts), and Joel 2:1-3:21 in connection with the
trumpets, and it will be seen that these trumpets, always symbols of testimony, are connected
with the regathering and repentance of Israel after the Church Age is ended. This feast, which
was held on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri, was immediately followed by the Day of
6. The Day of Atonement, vv. 26-32. The day is the same as that described in Lev. 16, but
here the stress is laid upon the sorrow and repentance of Israel. That is, the prophetic feature is
made prominent, looking forward to the repentance of Israel after their regathering under the
Palestinian Covenant (Dt.30:1-10) preparatory to the second advent of Messiah and the
establishment of the kingdom. See the connection between the trumpet in Joel 2:1 and the
mourning which follows in vv. 11-15; also Zech.12:10-14 in connection with the atonement of
Zech. 13: 1. Historically, the fountain of Zech. 13:1 was opened at the crucifixion but rejected
by the Jews of that and the succeeding centuries. After the regathering of Israel the fountain
will be efficaciously opened to Israel. The Day of Atonement was the tenth day of the seventh
7. The Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering, vv. 34-44, is, like the Lord’s Supper for the Church,
both memorial and prophetic-memorial as to redemption out of Egypt (v. 43); prophetic as to the
kingdom-rest of Israel after her regathering and restoration, when the feast again becomes
memorial, not for Israel alone, but also for all nations (Ezra 3:4; Zech.14:16-21; cp. Rev.21:3).
This festival, its name derived from the fact that during its observance the Israelites dwelt in
booths or tabernacles (vv. 42-43), began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, Tishri, and
lasted for one week.