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    FAQ 371
    Aviv 1 and the Equinox

    Q. 1) Would be, why Aviv starts a month later than most of the other messianics out there. As I researched on nccg.org, I saw that in The Aviv 1 Quest: From Search to Discovery the conclusion from Christopher was that the New Moon nearest to the vernal equinox would determine the beginning of the Year. So I don't understand why the New Year does not start in 4 days.

    2) Is, when I checked the conjunction time for December 29th 2016, I saw it is 7:55 in the morning for my place (Hannover, Germany) but that Rosh Chodesh is only the next day. If I understood you correctly some years back, you said that Rosh Chodesh will be even when the conjunction is a few hours after sunrise, because the moon won't be seen neither at sunrise. I do not understand why RC is the next day and not the same day. (SW, Germany, 6 March 2016)

    A. Thank you for the question.

    Re: Aviv 1. Anciently people would observe the equinox by noting when the sun 'crossed the equator' - when it started rising on or just past the equator or 'true east' (which most years, happens around 20th or 21st of March). That 'crossing of the equator' is the beginning of a the Sun's new circuit as seen from the earth.

    Before the vernal equinox the sun rises a little to the south of the equator (rising closer and closer to true east every day), and after the vernal equinox, the sun begins rising north of the equator. For the Israelite who was watching for Rosh Chodesh, if the sun was still rising to the south of the equator (or true east), they understood the month that was starting to still be part of the old year. The first Rosh Chodesh that the sun rose either in true east or just north of it, is the month of Aviv.

    Most years, it is easy to see if a month is in the old creation year on a Rosh Chodesh morning (since it is clearly rising a little south of true east) or the new year (since it is clearly rising north of true east). The question about whether to use the New Moon closest or after the vernal equinox comes into play in the years when the (calculated) moment of equinox happens the same day or a day or two after a New Moon. For instance, last Gregorian year (2015) we had a Rosh Chodesh starting at sunrise on 20 March, while the calculated moment of equinox would only happen some hours later. This is what lead to the discussions and prayer search to seek out what Father Yah wanted us to do. We were reminded that Father Yah commanded us to work by observation rather than calculation, and that in those years where a Rosh Chodesh is just a day or two before equinox, it will look like the sun is rising in true east on that Rosh Chodesh day.

    This coming Rosh Chodesh (9 March 2016), since the equinox hasn't hasn't happened yet, the sun will still be rising south of the equator, and it will be the last Rosh Chodesh sunrise in the sun's old circuit. On the following Rosh Chodesh (8 April 2016), it will be the first Rosh Chodesh sunrise north of the equator, and so the first month of the new creation year.

    (By the way, a nice tool to see or check this is a piece of free software called Stellarium. You can give a place's location and a time and see what the heaven's should look like - where the stars will be on the horizon and where the sun and moon should be. A fun piece of software if you are interested in astronomy!)

    Re: your question about Rosh Chodesh for 29 December 2016, I checked your location, and my guess is that the calendar calculated that the moon would also be invisible by observation at sunrise of 30 December 2016 for your location. When there are two consecutive days of the moon being invisible by observation at sunrise, the second day is considered Rosh Chodesh. This may or may or not be correct for your location - I can check to see if the coordinates the calendar uses for Hannover can be made more accurate, but to the best of my knowledge at the moment is correct.

    Please remember, the online calendar is only meant to be a planning tool to give an indication of the expected times and aren't meant to replace observation - we all are responsible to be learning how to do this by observation, because that is what Father Yah has commanded and we will need to know how to do this in times to come. If in doubt, please take it to prayer and observation in Him!

    Deborah Peterson

    This page was created on 6 March 2016
    Last updated on 6 March 2016

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