When is the Real New Year Celebrated by Christians?
A person who had been to different places could attest that people in different places celebrate New Year at different months, depending on the kind of calendar they follow. The Chinese, for instance, have their own calendar. Hence, they celebrate New Year at a date different from the date being observed by the Catholics who, on their part, follow the Roman calendar. While the Chinese New Year usually falls in February, the New Year of the Catholics is every January 1. It is common knowledge that in a Roman calendar, a year ends on December 31 and the new year commences in January 1.
How about us in the Church of God, do we celebrate New Year and when do we celebrate it?
We do celebrate New Year but in doing so, we use the Hebrew calendar as our basis.
Before the Israelites left Egypt, God prepared a calendar for them. It must be recalled that on their last day in Egypt, God gave a pronouncement to the Israelites (in Exodus 12:1-2):
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
This was spoken to them fifteen days before they all left Egypt. You see, in the Hebrew calendar a new day begins at sunset unlike in the Roman calendar wherein a new day starts at midnight. For example, if today is Saturday, come sunset it is already Sunday.
The first month of the year in a Hebrew calendar is Nisan or Abib, and its equivalent in the Roman calendar is at mid March 15 to 31, and the first half of April.
It is the Hebrew calendar that we follow because that was also the calendar that our Lord Jesus Christ followed. We do not follow the Roman calendar as our calendar of worship because it was made by the pagan Romans who were worshippers of false gods.
I just find it ironic that many religions like the Protestants, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Seventh-day Adventists, who claimed that they departed from the Catholic Church because of their erroneous doctrines, but they continue to follow their equally wrong calendar.
We, members of the Church of God International, adhere to the Hebrew Calendar where Nisan or Abib is the first month of the year.