The Jewish Holiday Calendar Guide 2015-16

The Holiday Calendar for the Leap Year 5776

2016-16 Jewish Calendar
Chaviva Gordon-Bennett

This calendar contains the 2015-16 Gregorian calendar dates for all Jewish holidays for the Hebrew calendar of the year 5776, including festivals and days of mourning. In accordance with the Jewish calendar, the 2015 dates begin with Rosh HaShanah, which is the primary Jewish New Year among the four actual "new years" in Judaism.

Holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the dates listed. The dates in bold represent the days with restrictions like those of Shabbat (e.g., with prohibitions against work, kindling fire, etc.).

The year 5776 is a leap year, which you can read more about below the chart in how the Jewish calendar is calculated.

Jewish HolidayDate
Rosh HaShana
New Year
September 14-15, 2015
Tzom Gedaliah
Fast of the Seventh Month
September 16, 2015
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement
September 23, 2015
 
Sukkot
Festival of Booths

September 28-29, 2015
September 30-October 4, 2015

Shemini AtzeretOctober 5, 2015
 
Simchat Torah
Day of Celebrating the Torah
October 6, 2015
 
Chanukah
Festival of Lights
December 7-14, 2015
 
Asara b'Tevet
Fast Commemorating Siege of Jerusalem
December 22, 2015
Tu B'Shvat
New Year for Trees
January 25, 2016
 
Ta'anit Esther
Fast of Esther

March 23, 2016

PurimMarch 24, 2016
Shushan Purim
Purim celebrated in Jerusalem
March 25, 2016
Ta'anit Bechorot
Fast of the First Born
April 22, 2016
Pesach
Passover

April 23-24, 2016
April 25-28, 2016
April 29-30, 2016

Yom HaShoah
Holocaust Remembrance Day
May 5, 2016
Yom HaZikaron
Israel's Memorial Day
May 11, 2016
Yom HaAtzmaut
Israel's Independence Day
May 12, 2016
Pesach Sheni
Second Passover, one month after Pesach
May 22, 2016

Lag B'Omer
33rd day in the counting of the Omer

May 26, 2016
Yom Yerushalayim
Jerusalem Day
June 5, 2016
Shavuot
Pentecost/Feast of Booths
June 12-13, 2016
Tzom Tammuz
Fast Commemorating Attack on Jerusalem
July 24, 2016
Tisha B'Av
Ninth of Av
August 14, 2016
Tu B'Av
The holiday of love
August 19, 2016

 

Calculating the Calendar

The Jewish calendar is lunar and is based on three things:

  • the rotation of the Earth on its axis (a day)
  • the revolution of the moon around the Earth (a month)
  • the revolution of the Earth around the sun (a year)

On average, the moon revolves around the Earth every 29.5 days, while the Earth revolves around the sun every 365.25 days.

This amounts to 12.4 lunar months. 

Although the Gregorian calendar abandoned the lunar cycles in favor of months of 28, 30, or 31 days, the Jewish calendar holds to the lunar calendar. Months range from 29 to 30 days to correspond to the 29.5-day lunar cycle and years are either 12 or 13 months to correspond to the 12.4-month lunar cycle. 

The Jewish calendar accommodates for the year-to-year difference by adding in an additional month. The additional month falls around the Hebrew month of Adar, resulting in an Adar I and an Adar II. In this type of year, Adar II is always the “real” Adar, which is the one in which Purim is celebrated, yarzheits for Adar are recited, and in which someone born in Adar becomes a bar or bat mitzvah. 

This type of year is known as a “pregnant year," Shanah Meuberet, or simply as a "leap year." It occurs seven times in a 19-year cycle during the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th years.

Additionally, the Jewish calendar's day begins at sundown, and the week culminates on Shabbat, which is a Friday/Saturday. Even the hour in the Jewish calendar is unique and different than the typical 60-minute structure most know.