Not New Year’s for Jews!


According to the Jewish calendar, nothing happens tonight at midnight. It is 5774 now, and it will be 5774 tomorrow. You probably think that’s because Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year. And it is—one of them.

But did you know that according to Jewish law there are actually four new years? Every year?

Rosh Hashanah is the new year for political things, like taxes and kings (you keep track of a king’s reign according to how many Rosh Hashanahs he spent on the throne). The 15th of Shevat, better known as Tu Bishvat is the new year for trees.

The first of Elul is the new year for cattle (it’s kind of like the kindergarten birthday cutoff, but for cow tithing instead of kindergarten). And the first of Nisan, celebrated two weeks before Passover, is the new year for people and celebrations.

So save a little champagne and one of those confetti poppers—the next new year is coming up on January 16th, 2014.

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