May 19, 2024

Happy New Year on a much older calendar


Because my wife is half-Vietnamese, I have to go to Houston this 4712weekend, to meet the in-laws for what they consider to be one of their most important holidays, Chinese New Year.  So while the rest of you guys are just barely getting into 2014, I’ll be ringing in the year of the horse, 4712.

The Chinese calendar isn’t as old as the Hebrew calendar.  They’re already up to 5775.  Do you realize that means that Jesus would have been born around 3758?  It’s amazing to me how many people actually think that the Gregorian calendar was the very first one, and that we didn’t start keeping dates until the time attributed to their patron deity.

15 thoughts on “Happy New Year on a much older calendar

  1. Question is how does this compare to Mayan calendar .. but then its not the end of the world we don’t know!

    (I bet those ancient people counting years downwards must have been real glad when bebe Jebus was born right on schedule and they could start counting the years going up instead! Wonder what they’d have done if they’d miscalculated and had to start signing their Czechs and publishing their dates in negative numbers! )

    1. If only I’d that “if” I thought I’d had was there. Eg.

      “but then its not the end of the world ifwe don’t know!”

      D’oh! Sorry folks.

  2. We should use the same calendar as the carbon daters: such and such happened 200BP, where BP stands for ‘Before Present’.

    The great thing about this is that the ‘P’ in BP was standardized as 1950 so we are now in the year sixty four After Present.

    So be careful not to get ahead of yourselves!

  3. I’ve been preferable to the ES (Era Sputnik) calendar from the Battle Angle Alita series. The first year of the ES calendar is 1957, the year of the Sputnik launch when humans began our first true steps off of the earth.

  4. I personally prefer the term Lunar New Year, as the holiday is also celebrated in Vietnam, Tibet, Mongolia and Korea as well as those countries which have a significant Chinese population. I’m living in Vietnam at the moment, so I’m enjoying a couple of weeks off work as the locals celebrate the Tết holiday.

    Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

    1. That’s fine, but the Hebrew calendar is also a lunar calendar. Chinese New Year avoids confusion. (And Hebrew New Year avoids Confucius.) <- – Sorry about that!)

  5. Here’s one in honor of our Greco-Roman heritage:

    Ab Urbe Condita, From the Founding of the City

    Anno Urbis Conditae, In the Year of the Founding of the City

    Rome, of course.

    The traditional date for that was calculated by Marcus Terentius Varro as 21 April 753 BCE in our calendar. With that year equal to 0, this is year 2767.

    Another one might be called the Olympic Era, after the first Olympic Games in 776 BCE. With that year equal to 0, this is year 2790.

  6. Ptolemy made a table of various calendar systems that matched various dates by recorded astronomical events in the Almagest. I think the earliest reliable date he could find was in a very old Assyrian calendar. He left out the Jewish calendar even though he would have known about it. I think that was because they didn’t include records of eclipses.

    Anyway, happy new year. I hope you ate some great food down here in Houston. Vietnamese food is awesome.

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