Adar is the sixth month of the religious year (which begins with Tishrei) and the twelfth month of the civil year (which begins with Nisan). The name Adar is of Assyrian-Babylonian origin, and its zodiacal sign is Pisces.

The feast of Purim which falls on the 14th of Adar imparts a festive character to the entire month: "When Adar enters, joy increases." According to tradition, Adar was a busy month, aside from the story of Purim.



3 Adar the Second Temple was dedicated.

7 Adar
the anniversary of both the birth and the death of Moses which was a date for rejoicing (or alternatively fasting) among various Jewish communities (the fast day was observed in 17th-cent. Turkey, Italy and northern Europe, and the custom spread to Hasidic circles).
9 Adar said to be the date of the split between the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai, and was therefore decreed as a fast day.
13 Adar called Nicanor Day to mark the anniversary of Judah the Maccabee's defeat of Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BCE; originally it was observed as a festival but later became the Fast of Esther.  
14 Adar Purim, celebrating the deliverance of the Jews of the Persian empire from extermination (5th cent. BCE).  
16 Adar Nehemiah (5th cent. BCE) recommenced the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem on that day, hence the day was designated a feast day.  
20 Adar Honi ha-Me'aggel (Honi the Circle Maker; 1st cent. BCE) miraculously evoked the rain, and so the day was at one time observed as a fast day.  

In leap years, there are two months of Adar, so as to ensure that the festival of Passover falls in the spring. During such years, most observances normally held in Adar are moved to Adar Sheni or Second Adar; the intercalated month is the first month of Adar, known as Adar Rishon.

When a death occurs in Adar in an ordinary year, the yahrzheit (anniversary of the death) is observed in the first month of Adar, even in a leap year. Adar Rishon is intercalated seven times in a 19-year lunar cycle in order to bring the Hebrew calendar into line with the general solar calendar (and to ensure, for example, that Passover falls in the spring); it is 29 days long in an ordinary year, 30 days long in a leap year. Adar Sheni always has 29 days.



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