Thursday, January 3

Revenge of the Gregorians

I don't recall ever meeting a Gregorian in person.

Many of us have spent our entire lives assuming that everyone in the world uses the same calendar -- not so. Turns out there are a LOT of calendars used worldwide. I probably learned about The Gregorian Calendar in first grade history class (!). The Jews use the Hebrew Calendar; Muslims use the Islamic (Hijri) Calendar; Iranians use the (modern) Persian calendar, and the Chinese use the Chinese Yin Calendar (not to be confused with the Chinese Yang Calendar).

our New Year's Day

 daymonthyearcalendar adopted in
Chinese23Eleventh4705 (rat) 
Gregorian1January2008 C.E.1752 CE
Hebrew23Tevet5768 A.M. 
Hindu   78 CE
Islam22Dhu al-Hijjah1428 A.H. 
Persian11Dey13861925 CE

For simplicity sake, I'm avoiding an explanation of the Chinese Lunar and Solar calendars, which are based on the ruling dynasty, among other things.

their New Year's Day (sorted chronologically)

Christian Era 20081 January 2008
Islam 1429 (Muharram)10 January 2008
Chinese 47057 February 2008
Persian 1386 (Norouz)21 March 2008
Hindu 1929 (Ugadi)6 April 2008
Hebrew 5769 (Rosh Hashanah)29 September 2008

I like using the ISO-8601 calendar for embedding into filenames, so that Untitled.txt becomes 2008-01-01-Untitled.txt -- that way, it's always obvious when the file was created, even if it's been emailed or copied. There's a nice Calendar Converter on Fourmilab which I used to generate this data.

Example: using this converter, I can see that Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 took place on Day 1, Fifth Month, Ji Si Year (Republic Dynasty). To me, it's still 4 June 1989.

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