A once in every 19 years coincidence

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Thursday April 15 is, for Jews, the 1st day of the Hebrew month of Iyar.  And on Rosh Chodesh (Hebrew for the new month), certain Psalms of Praise (namely parts of Psalms 114 - 118) are recited.  That it is falling on April 15 this year is more than enough reason to me to recite ANY prayer or psalm of praise, thanksgiving, relief, thanks...you get the idea.  And to hoist a beer.

The Hebrew calendar is an unusual one.  It works on a lunar cycle, meaning that a year is usually 355 days long.  When there is a leap year, an ENTIRE MONTH is added, making is 385 days.  And this works in a 19 year cycle - 7 of the 19 years in the cycle are leap years.  That is why holidays like Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, etc. seem to come early or late some years.  Passover started March 30 this year - early.  Next year, it starts April 18 - kind of late.  Actually, both years it starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan.  It's just that next year is a leap year.

So because of this 19 year cycle, April 15 falls on the 1st of Iyar once every 19 years.  Trust me, when April 15 comes next year, I won't say any of those Psalms but at the minimum I will hoist a beer in thanks for the completion of another busy season.

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