The dates of the new moons in 2014 were: Jan. 1, Jan. 30, March 1, March 30 and April 29. Other new moons were May 28, June 27, July 26, Aug. 25 and Sept. 24. The last new moons for 2014 were Oct. 23, Nov. 22 and Dec. 21.
Because of its orbit around the Earth, the moon has phases, from one day to the next. Though it takes 29.5 days for the moon to complete an orbit around the earth, it takes 27.3 days for it to transition from new moon to new moon. The 2.2 days the moon takes in catching up is because the Earth travels around the sun while the moon also travels around the Earth.
The new moon looks dark because it is between the sun and the Earth, so the light of the sun does not strike the side that faces Earth. The side that faces Earth is always the same side, because the moon takes the same amount of time to revolve around its axis as it does to rotate around the Earth.
As the moon wanes from full to new moon, it rises later and later, until it rises in the night and sets after the sun comes up. When it rises at sunrise and sets at sunset, it's a new moon.