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Happy New Year! Well…

December 31, 2010

As I’m writing this, it’s New Year’s Eve. The world is waiting to find out what the next year is going to bring. Australia has already set off its fireworks, and strangely enough so has someone on my street. The world will wake up tomorrow with a fresh start, with bright new hopes for 2011.

Some of the world, anyway.

The wikipedia article on New Year  lists 42 different calendars, all with their own new years (though many calendars converge on the equinoxes as a good place to start a year). Even in the UK, I’m working to a pile of different calendars.

1. My spiritual calendar. I’m agnostic, with leanings towards Pagan beliefs. In the traditions I follow, the new year begins at Samhain, which is commonly known by the rest population as Hallowe’en. In the tradition I was brought up in, Anglican Christianity, the new year begins at the start of Advent, 4 Sundays before Christmas.

2. My academic calendar. The year starts in September, when educational institutions accept their new intakes. This is such an important calendar in the UK that “academic diaries” – ones that start and end in September – tend to flood stationary shops during July and August. Clearly, many people live by the academic calendar. The university has its own calendar, marking days by how much of term has progressed.

3. The financial calendar. In the UK, the 6th of April is the start of a Tax Year. All I know about this is that during March and April we get told that we should be filling in our self-assesment tax returns, without the adverts caring if we actually have them.

4. This other calendar thingy. Most things that have a date on (except when I’m near the university) display it in the Gregorian calendar. It would be perfectly simple to use any of the above calendars to organise events, record when items are produced, and similar. But the Gregorian calendar has seemingly taken over the world. For evidence of this, please see the New Year celebrations currently occuring.

And this is why a calendar geek shouldn’t write a New Year’s post.

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