Frank W. Nelte

Passover in the Winter

There are people who argue that it is acceptable for the year to start in the winter "as long as the Passover itself is observed in the spring". And they can make this statement in the full assurance that TODAY the Jewish calendar never places Nisan 14 into the winter.

But that was not the case when Hillel II first instituted the present calculated calendar. It is not generally known that the present Jewish calendar, from the time of Hillel II onwards, actually repeatedly placed the Passover into the winter.

Any time before the spring equinox is still a part of winter. So any Passover observed before the spring equinox is observed in the winter.

Here is a list of over 30 different years when, according to the present Jewish calendar which goes back to 358/359 A.D., the Passover would have been observed in the winter, before the spring equinox.

360 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 18

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

368 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 19

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

379 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

398 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 19

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

406 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 19

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

417 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 19

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

436 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

455 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

474 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

482 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 19

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

493 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 18

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

512 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

550 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

569 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

588 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

607 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

626 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

645 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

664 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 19

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

683 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 18

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

702 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

721 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

740 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

759 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

797 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

816 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

835 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

854 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

873 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 20

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

892 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 17

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

949 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

968 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

987 A.D.

Passover Julian calendar = March 16

Passover Gregorian calendar = March 21

Equinox Gregorian calendar = March 21

COMMENT: Passover observed after sunset on March 20, before the equinox

Exactly how often the present Jewish calendar has placed the Passover into the winter is not important one way or the other. What is important is that the calendar which Hillel II instituted in 358/359 A.D. did clearly and repeatedly place the Passover into the winter. The fact that it did so repeatedly for the next 600 years after Hillel's time only makes this flaw more blatant. Whether his calendar would cause the Passover observance to fall into the winter or whether it would fall into the spring was simply not something Hillel II was concerned about.

The fact that today the Jewish calendar never places the Passover into the winter is not something that was planned; it is simply the consequence of the passage of time producing an inevitable shift to later dates in the annual seasons for all the days in a Jewish 19-year cycle. The passage of over 1600 years has been kind to at least one of the inherent flaws of the present Jewish calendar; that's all.

Frank W. Nelte