A Woman’s Festivity
According to the Shulchan Aruch, women should observe Rosh Chodesh, the first day of each Hebrew month, as a holiday. Men, however, can carry on as usual. Why is Rosh Chodesh singled out as a women’s holiday?
According to the Talmud, the 12 months originally were representative of and carried significance to each of the 12 tribes. However, when the Israelites were planning the construction of the golden calf, they approached the women to collect their gold jewelry. Since the women recognized the sinfulness of the men and refused to turn it over, they were rewarded with having Rosh Chodesh become a special holy day for them (and it was taken away from the tribes).
Another opinion: According to Rabbi Moses Isserles, because women immerse in the ritual bath each month and re-endear themselves to their husbands, they are considered renewed like (and therefore equated with) the moon.
The Chacham Yosef Chaim of Baghdad (the Ben Ish Chai) says women should be conscientious to recognize Rosh Chodesh, for although they are secondary to men in many mitzvot, this is a mitzvah where women play a more significant role than men do.
Many communities have launched festive Rosh Chodesh gatherings. A Google search for “Rosh Chodesh gatherings + Baltimore” brings up 638 articles, including many area listings.