Image: An early harbinger of spring, a crocus blooms in the snow. Photo by Justyna Markiewicz.

The month of Adar Alef, 5776 began at sundown on February 8, 2016.

5776 is a leap year in the nineteen-year Jewish cycle. This cycle keeps our lunar monthly calendar aligned with the solar seasons, so we have two Adars, Alef and Bet. That way Passover remains in the spring, the High Holy Days remain in the fall, but we still have a lunar calendar. Clever, no?

Some things to know:

Holidays such as Purim are observed in Adar Bet, next month.

Yahrzeits are observed in Adar Bet, unless the death occurred in Adar Alef in a leap year.

Purim Katan [“little Purim’] is listed on some Jewish calendars for Adar. It is usually not observed in any organized way.

I wish you a happy Adar!

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