For those of us in the West, a new civil year has just begun. This first month of 2020 is a time of establishing vision, setting goals and making plans. For those of us who have chosen to cross over to the faith and lifestyle of Messiah Yeshua, we are looking forward to the 3 major feast seasons in the 12 months ahead!
For me, planning begins with getting those Feast Days dates recorded and highlighted in my calendar. I deliberately choose to plan my year around His Feast Days. I see them as a vital part of my life, so they are the very first thing entered on my monthly planners for the entire year. I need to know when to plan for time off from work to honor the High Sabbaths that fall during these Feast seasons. As our household manager, I also want to be sure I have the days preceding the Feast Days identified so that I am sure to take the time to allow for home preparations and shopping.
By marking my calendar at the very beginning of the civil year, our home is set up far in advance for honoring the One we love! My husband and I are both self-employed. Therefore, the intensity of our work schedule and load is gaged to flow in accordance with the Feast Weeks. Our vacation time is planned around when they fall. We want our lives to fully proclaim the awesomeness of our King, so we make the effort to be sure His Light is fully shining from our home during these three critical times on His Kingdom calendar!
Yet I am also reminded by Father that He has Appointed Times in place every week and every month too! Am I planning and preparing for them also? The most important of His Feasts takes place every week! Shabbat – the Sabbath- arrives every Friday evening and lasts until darkness falls on Saturday. Father tells us that His Shabbat, like a wedding ring, is the eternal sign that adorns us as His Beloved. Do I purpose to make the most of this special day with my Beloved? Do I mark it on my calendar each week, preparing for it with anticipation? Do I take to time on Fridays to fully prepare for Shabbat?
Then there is the monthly Appointed Time! Rosh Chodesh. Properly translated, this is “Head of the Month”. Not the Western months, folks…the Biblical months identified on the Hebrew calendar and established each month by the appearance of the sliver of a new moon in the evening sky. Through the prophet Isaiah, Father informs us that both Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh will be a critical part of worshipping Him when He rules over the New Earth from the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 66). I readily admit that for various reasons, Rosh Chodesh is probably the most challenging Appointed Time for me to observe. However, they are marked in my calendar and hopefully this year I will grasp this important day with greater understanding and determined observation!
My purpose in this writing is not to discuss or banter over the how to for each of Father’s Appointed Times. My hope is to help you increase your personal awareness of His Appointed Times and prod you a little in planning and preparing for them. As Yehovah’s children, made one with Him thru Messiah Yeshua, His Appointed Times should never be occasions that seem to sneak up on us. We should be looking ahead toward them with joy and ready hearts! That being said, pull out your calendar, beloved of Yeshua, and get the following 2020 dates entered and highlighted!
Tevet 5780 (Dec 29 – Jan 26)
- Shabbats (Fri sunset to Sat sunset): Jan 3-4, Jan 10-11, Jan 17-18, Jan 24-25
Shevat 5780 (Jan 27 – Feb 24)
- Rosh Chodesh Shevat: sunset Sun, Jan 26 – sunset Mon, Jan 2 is Shevat 1
- Shabbats: Jan 31-Feb 1, Feb 7-8, Feb 14-15, Feb 21-22
Adar 5780 (Feb 25 – March 25) This is the last month of the Biblical Year!
- Rosh Chodesh Adar: sunset Mon, Feb 24 – sunset Tue, Feb 25
- Shabbats: Feb 28-29, March 6-7, March 13-14, March 20-21
- PURIM: sunset Mon, March 9 – sunset March 10 This day celebrates the events in the Book of Esther. Though it is not one of Yehovah’s Appointed Times, it is highly significant to our history as His children, celebrating the importance of standing up for Yehovah, His Torah, and His People no matter how strong the opposition.
The Biblical Hebrew Year Exodus 12:1-8
Aviv 5780 – also called Nisan (March 26 – April 23, 2020)
- ROSH CHODASHIM, Aviv 1: sunset Wed, March 25 – sunset Thu, March 26 HEAD MONTH OF THE YEAR Exodus 12:1-3 Per Yehovah, Aviv is the first month of the Biblical Year! Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, Jews have marked the new year in the fall on the Day of Trumpets. The Hebrew years ever since then have been marked by that day, rather than by His instruction.
- SHABBAT HAGADOL, Aviv 10: sunset Fri, April 3 – sunset Sat, April 4. THE GREAT SABBATH no matter what day of the week it falls on. This is the day the lambs for Passover sacrifice are chosen and brought into Jerusalem. This is the day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem and the back of a donkey colt while the crowds shouted “Hosanna!” (meaning God Save Us!)
The Spring Feasts
- PESACH, the night of Aviv 14: twilight (3:00 PM) Wed, April 8 to sunrise Thu, April 9 PASSOVER! Yeshua was crucified on this date, dying as the last of the Passover lambs was slain and offered up in the Temple.
- FEAST OF MATZAH, Aviv 15: sunrise Thu, April 9 and is observed to sunset Wed, April 15 The first day of the Feast is a High Shabbat as is the last day of the Feast. (A High Shabbat can fall on any day of the week!)
- YOM HABAKURRIM, Aviv 16: sunset Thu, April 9 – sunset Fri, April 10 DAY OF FIRST FRUITS
- RESURRECTION DAY: sunset Fri, April 10 – sunset Sat, April 11 Special Note: In the year of Yeshua’s death and resurrection, the Day of First Fruits fell on Sunday, Aviv 17. Because Aviv 16 was a regular Shabbat, the Day of First Fruits was delayed one day, thus creating the perfect prophetic fulfillment. Yeshua remained in the tomb for a full 3 days and nights AND rose from the dead on the Day of First Fruits. He became the First Fruit of the Resurrection. Resurrection Day should be celebrated on Aviv 17 every year!
Iyar 5780 (April 24 – May 22)
- Rosh Chodesh Iyar: sunset Thu, April 23 – sunset Fri, April 24
- Shabbats: April 24-25, May 1-2, May 8-9, May 15-16
Sivan 5780 (May 23 – June 21)
- Rosh Chodesh Sivan: sunset Fri, May 22 – sunset Sat, May 23
- Shabbats: May 22-23, May 29-30, June 5-6, June 12-13, June 19-20
- SHAVU’OT: sunset Thu, May 28-sunset Sat, May 30 PENTECOST! (outside of Israel, Shavu’ot is celebrated for 2 days)
Tammuz 5780 (June 22 – July 21)
- Rosh Chodesh Tammuz: sunset Sun, June 21 – sunset Mon, June 22
- Shabbats: June 26-27, July 3-4, July 10-11, June 17-18
Av 5780 (July 22 – Aug 19)
- Rosh Chodesh Av: sunset Tue, July 21 – sunset Wed, July 22
- Shabbats: July 24-25, July 31-Aug 1, Aug 7-8, Aug 14-15
Elul 5780 (Aug 20 – Sep 18)
- Rosh Chodesh Elul: sunset Wed, Aug 19 – sunset Thu, Aug 20
- Shabbats: Aug 21-22, Aug 28-29, Sep 4-5, Sep 11-12
Tishrei 5781 (Sep 19 – Oct 17)
- Shabbats: Sept 18-19, Sept 25-26, Oct 2-3, Oct 9-10, Oct 16-17
The Fall Feasts
- YOM TERUAH: sunset Fri, Sep 18 – sunset Sat, Sep 19 DAY OF SHOFARS! Also called Rosh Hashanah, the Rabbinical and Civil New for Israel. YOM TERUAH falls on Tishrei 1, the start of a new month. This day is a High Sabbath.
- YOM KIPPUR: sunset Sun, Sep 27 – sunset Mon, Sep 28 DAY OF ATONEMENT! This is a High Sabbath and day of corporate fasting.
- SUKKOT: sunset Fri, Oct 2 – sunset Fri, Oct 9 FEAST OF TABERNACLES! The first day and the last day are High Sabbaths.
- SHEMINI ATZERET: sunset Fri, Oct 9 – sunset, Sat Oct 10 THE EIGHTH DAY! Father instructs us to linger with Him one day longer. This day is a High Sabbath.
- SIMCHAT TORAH: sunset Sat, Oct 10 – sunset Sun, Oct 11 JOY OF TORAH! This is a Rabbinical holy day that marks the beginning of the renewed cycle of Torah readings for the New Year. In Israel, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are celebrated together on the same day. Outside of Israel, Simchat Torah is the day after Shemini Atzeret.
Chesvan 5781 (Oct 18 – Nov 16)
- Rosh Chodesh Chesvan: sunset Sat, Oct 17 – sunset Sun, Oct 19
- Shabbats: Oct 23-24, Oct 30-31, Nov 6-7, Nov 13-14
Kislev 5781 (Nov 17 – Dec 15)
- Rosh Chodesh Kislev: sunset Mon, Nov 16 – sunset Tue, Nov 17
- Shabbats: Nov 20-22, Nov 27-28, Dec 4-5, Dec 11-12
- HANUKKAH: sunset Thu, Dec 10 – sunset, Dec 18 FEAST OF DEDICATION! This day celebrates the events in the Books of the Macabbees found in the Apocrypha. Though it is not one of Yehovah’s Appointed Times, it is highly significant to our history as His children, celebrating the importance of standing up for Yehovah, His Torah, and His People no matter how strong the opposition. This holiday overlaps the months of Kislev and Tevet.
Tevet 5781 (Dec 16 – Jan 13, 2021)
- Rosh Chodesh Tevet: sunset Tue, Dec 15 – sunset Wed, Dec 16
- Shabbats: Dec 18-19, Dec 25-26, Jan 1-2, Jan 8-9
Shevat 5781 (Jan 14 – Feb 11, 2021)
- Rosh Chodesh Shevat: sunset Wed, Jan 13 – sunset Thu, Jan 14
- Shabbats: Jan 15-16, Jan 22-23, Jan 29-30, Feb 5-6
Adar 5781 (Feb 11 – Mar 13, 2021) This is the last month of the Biblical Year!
- Rosh Chodesh Adar: sunset Wed, Feb 10 – sunset Thu, Feb 11
- Shabbats: Feb 12-13, Feb 19-20, Feb 26-27, Mar 5-6, Mar 12-13
- PURIM: sunset Thu, Feb 25 – sunset Fri, Feb 26 This day celebrates the events in the Book of Esther. Though it is not one of Yehovah’s Appointed Times, it is highly significant to our history as His children, celebrating the importance of standing up for Yehovah, His Torah, and His People no matter how strong the opposition.