Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Congratulations

The Jewish calendar is based on the moon, as opposed to the standard calendars we use around the world. This means that the Jewish year only has 354 days a year, instead of 365, and the Jewish holidays “move” backwards in relation to the Gregorian calendar. Most of the country uses the Gregorian calendar anyway, but he orthodox community use the Hebrew calendar almost exclusively (some of them keep track of both, if they have a business need to work with civilian groups or companies). For example, my birthday moves around between Aug 26th and Sep 20th. It was on Sep 13th in 2003, and on Sep 2nd in 2004, and so every year it’s different. I have a good friend who is religious, and we were both born on the same day. I call him to congratulate him every September 13th, and he calls me to congratulate me on some random date every year…

Personally, I don’t care – I celebrate it on the Gregorian date of Sep 13th, which is when it was on my original birthday in 1973. Who DO care is pretty much the entire population of Israel…at least the secular population. The reason is that the Daylight Savings time is also affected by this, which means that on some years, they switch off DST as early as the beginning of September. Every few years, some organization or political party tries to change this so that the DST changes are set by the Gregorian calendar, but the religious politicians are always able to keep it the way it is.

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