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Why Are There So Many Different Calendars
On December 21st 2012, the world was supposedto end. Many believed that the Mayan calendar would be ending, and so would all life onearth. Of course, most of us don't use the ancient Mayan calendar, and the world didn'tend. So we wanted to know, why are there so many different calendarsé Well, nearly all calendars fall under threetypes: lunar, solar, and lunisolar. There are actually dozens of different calendars,many of which build off each other and are incredibly similar. The most widely recognized nonreligious calendarin the Western World is the Gregorian calendar.
In 46 BC, Roman Emperor Julius Caesar institutedthe Julian Calendar, which was almost identical to the one we use today. It had 12 months,and a year was defined as 365.25 days. A millenia and a half later in 1582, Pope Gregory the13th introduced the Gregorian calendar, named after himself. It tackled the problem of certainreligious celebrations falling on a slightly different day every year. It changed the rulessurrounding leap years so that dates remained relatively consistent with the holidays . TheGregorian is solarbased, meaning that one year equals to one full rotation of the eartharound the sun. There are also lunar calendars, which measuremonths based on cycles of the moon. This usually
correlates as a new moon signifying a newmonth. The most well known lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar, also called the Hijricalendar, named for a journey by the Prophet Muhammad in the year 622. The Hijri calendarmarks this event as it's quote â€œyear zeroâ€�, similar to the Christian system of AD andBC, setting the life of Jesus Christ as a neutral point. Additionally, because thereare more than 12 lunar cycles in one solar cycle, the Hijri calendar is only 354 dayslong, and it is currently considered the year 1437 AH. Finally, there are calendars which use bothlunar and solar systems. These are lunisolar,
and are the best of both worlds, using thesun to mark the year, and moon cycles to mark the seasons. Occasionally, to fix the discrepancyof the shorter lunar month, there is a thirteenth â€œleap monthâ€� added every two to threeyears. The Chinese calendar is a famous example of a lunisolar calendar. Rather than markyears chronologically, the Chinese calendar names its years, with the first componentdenoting an element like metal, fire or earth, and the second an animal. For example, 2016is the Red Fire Monkey. This type of calendar is also used by Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, anda number of Asian countries. There are a lot of ways to keep track of time,and luckily we've all mostly agreed on the
Gregorian civil calendar. So while the NewYear may come on January first for any Solar or Lunisolar cultures, you'll have to waituntil October of 2016 if you're following the purely lunar Hijri calendar. For a deeper look into the origins of theGregorian Calendar, check out this tutorial by DNews. Thanks for checking us out! Be sureto subscribe to TestTube News for more tutorials.