A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Notes from an Antiquated Queen
New Year 2016
Happy New Year and Feliz Vida Vieja my dhalins!!!!
Oh. My. God! How time flies! It’s already a new month and it isn’t just a new month but a new year, the year 2016 if you follow the traditions of the Gregorian calendar, that is. But, do you know where the calendar comes from? Where it originated or who decided we needed to have 12 months in a year, with each month having 30 to 31 days except for February who has 28 or 29 depending on the year? You don’t know, you say? Well, I don’t know either! Still, adjust your girdle gurls and tighten up those strap-on ‘cuase mother time is here to give you herstory!
Everything started with the need for survival, my dears. Yes, our ancestor settled down to farming and needed to understand how the climate would affect their craps. To them, knowing the best times for planting and harvesting was very important, so a need to figure out when annual flooding, rainfall, and frost will arrive was a big necessity.
Our ancestors figured out how the moon “recycles” itself as a full moon approximately every 29.5 days. So, the first calendar became a “lunar calendar,” based on the renewal of the moon. Our ancestors also figured out that nature changes its appearance and such changes occurred based on the trajectory of the sun. Once they figured out that nature had four different changes (seasons) lasting several lunar calendars, our ancestors concluded that four seasons equals one solar year. It was then when two different sets of calendars were established: the lunar calendar, which refers to the months and the solar calendar, which refers to the year.
There is, dearies, a lot of information about this lunar/solar year thing but I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it. Why? Because you can Google this stuff yourself. It will not only help you learn something new, it will also keep you away from spending so much time watching porn.
What I want to tell you though, is that there are many different types of years/calendars that have been used and continue to be used on this earth. That’s right dhalings, our calendar year, known, as the Gregorian calendar is not the only one in existence. There have been many other calendar years, some no longer in used, other still widely praised.
The Babylonians and the Egyptians both made used of the lunar year, which has 354 days, 11 days shorter than the solar year. This lunar year still in used today in Islam. And it is known today as the Muslim calendar.
Later in time, the people from Mesopotamia and the republican Rome figured out that the lunar calendar was shorter so they decided that adding an extra month from time to time to keep up with the solar year was necessary. This calendar basically became a combination of both lunar and solar years; the Jewish people use it today and it is known as the Jewish calendar.
It wasn’t until the 1st Century BC where a famous Roman astronomer advised Julius Caesar to adjust the lunar calendar to coincide with the solar calendar. So Julius added 11 days to the already 354 day lunar calendar, making it 365 days. It is here where the Julian calendar is born.
At the same time, in another part of the continent, another group of people were working on their own calendar, the Mayans. They created a 365-day calendar but instead of having 12 months, it has 18 months of 20 days each with five days at the end of each year. This Mayan calendar is known as Calendar Round, which has a cycle of 52 years and were no two days have the same name; and according to historians it is the most accurate calendars of them all.
Many years later, in the 16th Century or the 1500s to be exact, a minor error from the Romans make the Julian calendar to be about 10 days behind the solar calendar so Pope Gregory XIII employed a German Jesuit astronomer by the name of Christopher Clavius to figure out a solution. That solution is the famous leap year, which occurs every four years. This adjustment was adopted and the Gregorian calendar, which is the one most countries of the world follow today, was born. I say most countries because we still have the Chinese calendar; it follows its own system and cities and countries with significant Chinese population use it.
The moral of the story, my dhalings: it may be a New Year to us, but for many it is simply just another day. So throw away those ‘new year resolutions’ and just live life to the fullest, celebrating each day as it comes. Don’t waste your life; don’t rush your life, just live your life because at the end, it is all that matters.
Ta-ta, dearies! See you in the next lunar year!