Having been raised in a secular Jewish family in New York, I really didn't know anything but the Christian calendar. And yes, it should be called the that, the "Cristian Calendar." It's based on mainstream Christian belief. We did celebrate various, though not all, Jewish holidays, which fell when they fell according to the Jewish Calendar. As a child, I was totally oblivious to the fact that the two calendars weren't the same.
This coming week is January 1, 2013, the first day of the next year of the Christian Calendar.
- The Christian Calendar is solar, based on the fact that the solar year, including its four seasons, is 365 days (and one quarter 1/4) long. Every four years, an extra day is added to keep it on track.
- The Jewish Calendar is a lunar calendar of twelve months, which add up to less than 365 days. So it makes up the shortfall of days by adding an extra month every few years according to a very accurate formula.
תשובה Teshuva, Repentance is all about. And this process culminates in Yom Kippur, the final Judgement.
We need all of our faculties to do this right. The Christian New Year is a totally different ball game. It has evolved into mindless drunkenness and worse. While we Jews, work hard to heighten our awareness of our sins and apologize to G-d, promising to change ourselves for the better on our New Year, a few months later, on the night of December 31, as the clock strikes midnight and it becomes January 1, people frequently are oblivious to what they are really doing. Their senses are confused by the liquor and worse they are imbibing. I don't understand the point of this at all. It's not my mentality and no longer my culture.