So in Israel there are really two calendars. There is the Jewish calendar, which has 12 months (sometimes 13, in a leap year), and the secular calendar, which also has 12 months. They don’t run exactly parallel. But it doesn’t matter, so much, because unlike other parts of the world that have four seasons, you don’t have to bother with that. September is never “fall,” because the weather is usually as warm as July, just the sun sets a little bit earlier.
So the practical Israeli calendar is sort of a…melange, if you will — a mix of the calendars and seasons and holidays.
Ready? Here’s my version:
- Chagim — this starts with Rosh Hashana and ends with Shimini Atzeret / Simchat Torah (in Israel this is one day…one very, very, very long day)
- Acharei haChagim — this is as much a time period as a state of being, because everything of importance gets pushed to this, from dentist appointments to job interviews
- Choref — winter, extending from acharei hachagim to when it stops raining
- Chanukah — self-explanatory, but can start from when the donuts start appearing in the bakeries
- Adloyada — technically the costume parades for Purim, but people start planning costumes from way before
- Pesach — from the day after Purim, when you realize how much chametz junk is in your house
- The “Yom Ha”s — Yom HaShoah, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haatzmaut – if you have kids, you’re constantly laundering white shirts
- Kayitz — from when it stops raining
- Yuli — July
- August — August
- Elul — the month before “Chagim,” when you’re supposed to be spiritually preparing for them, but instead, because of overlap with “August,” you spend a lot of time at the pool/beach, watching TV, and eating ice cream with your bored kids
Do you live in Israel? How did I do?