A New Decade
Wow, it’s 2020!!! The beginning of a new year and a new decade. Or is it? I decided to do some research on this and found that it has always been very confusing. For some people, the next decade will begin on Jan. 1, 2020, and end on Dec. 31, 2029. For others, it won’t start until Jan. 1, 2021, concluding on Dec. 31, 2030. But which is correct? I googled it.
The Naval Observatory, whose calculations of time influence government satellites, your iPhone and more says the new decade will begin Jan. 1, 2021. That’s because the observatory uses a modification of the Julian date to measure time. This modified system is used by astronomers and geodesists, who study the size of the Earth. (The original Julian date begins Jan. 1, 4713 B.C.)
However, in 525 a monk named Dionysius Exiguus devised a calendar system called anno Domini, which was based on when he believed Jesus was born. A.D., which is Latin for “the year of our Lord,” is commonly used today. One glitch: Because it identified the date of Jesus’ birth as Year 1, not Year 0, there is a time gap. But back at that time they used Roman numerals and there is no sign for zero.
There are also other calendars — such as the Jewish calendar, the Islamic calendar and the Hindu calendar — which use completely different year numbers. So, is it a new decade? Does it matter? Just as we did for Y2k (you remember this, right?), we will move forward and continue to enjoy life and be grateful for our good health, family and friends.
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