All of us have random shower thoughts pop into our heads throughout the day. Some have merit, some are mind-bending, and some are totally bonkers. Well, have you ever wondered if time is perceived and noted the same all over the globe? Or that time is an illusion? Well, there isn’t much that can be said about that, but time is definitely an oddity. Many theories float on the internet about what time is, and do you know the common link between them? They agree that time is a man-made construct.
Keeping the crazy prospect that time may not have a universal perception, let’s see how we measure time. The passage of time is recorded in terms of years. The next obvious follow-up question would be to ask whether we as a civilization agree with how much time has passed. To simply put it, no.
I rocked your world, didn’t I? How can people all over the globe have a different discernment of what year is it? That’s where the cultural and religious aspects come in. But that’s for later.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, ‘what year is it?’ then this blog is for you. Here, we attempt to answer this mind-boggling question in its entirety.
Read more: What Does Dreaming About Tornado Mean?
Multiple calendars across the world
The only times we fumble when asked the year is during that hazy period between the end of the year and the beginning of the next. It’s the prime time to write or say the wrong year, as most of us still haven’t accepted that another calendar year has passed even though we are well into the next.
But the rest of the time? We know exactly what year it is today.
But have you ever wondered if that confidence is justified? Do you know that thing kept on your work desk with the months of the year all laid out with corresponding dates and days? Not the same for everyone. Why yes, I’m talking about the calendar.
Multiple calendars exist all over the world. Many cultures and religions use a completely different base to keep a time log. Surprising huh? Before venturing into learning about the different calendars, let’s look at how calendars came about to exist in the first place.
1. Origin of calendar
We seldom give thought to how calendars came to be or who came up with the modern calendar that we use today. Concepts like these are taken for granted- rarely thought about but always seen in action. We just accept it as it is, but have you pondered over the rich history of time? How calendars came to be?
Keeping a tab on the passage of time has been a long-standing tradition since ancient civilizations like babylions, Romans, and Egyptians. Humans have been keeping a log of time since the Neolithic Era, maybe not in the traditional sense, that didn’t come into the picture until the bronze age in 3100 BC.
The first calendar is said to be conceptualized by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. While it had a similar design of containing 12 lunar months, each consisting of 29 or 30 days, it was vastly different from the one we use today. Firstly, there were no weeks and one year had 360 days. Secondly, a day wasn’t the regular 24 hours but was rather divided into 12 hours- wherein 6 were daytime, and the other 6 were nighttime hours. Lastly, every four years, they added an extra month to the years.
1.1 Why was the first calendar created?
Do you ever wonder what drove early humans to create a system to keep track of time? Why was it so important to know how many days make a month and months make a year? It was farming.
Ancient civilizations relied on farming for their sustenance and hence, needed to predict when the seasons would change. It was important to know the sowing and harvest time for crops. It also ensured that the livelihood of livestock wouldn’t be disturbed.
They needed a reliable system that they could count on to make executive decisions regarding agriculture.
1.2 How exactly were early calendars prepared?
How were early calendars prepared?
How was the length of days, months, and years decided? Every civilization to date has used astronomy to predict this. From the Sumerians to the Romans, they used the rotation of the sun, moon, and even stars to predict the length of the calendars. While their interpretation of these rotations might differ, the source remains the same.
Some historians believe that people living in Scotland invented the first calendar, even before the Sumerians. In Aberdeenshire, researchers uncovered 12 pits similar to the moon’s rotation. They are said to be as old as 10,000 years and are believed to be the first lunar calendar in human history.
Guess what? Even the modern calendar uses a mixture of astronomy, politics, history, and religion.
Want to read more about astronomy in ancient times? Click here.
2. Multiple calendars that exist round the globe
There are approximately 40 different calendars that exist in the world today. So it’s natural to assume that we could be living in 2022 or in the 1300s, depending on which calendar you consult. Many have different new year dates too. So you can celebrate New Year again just by switching to another calendar. The 3 main categories they can be divided into are lunisolar, solar, and lunar calendars.
Let’s explore the features of some of the most popular ones.
2.1 Julian calendar
The Julian calendar was invented in 45 BC by Julius caesar. It followed the 8-day week system that was established by the roman republic calendar before it. The main reason for its introduction was due to the rampant corruption in the political world of the roman empire. Before this came into existence, politicians would shorten and lengthen the year at their will for their political gain.
It quickly became the most widely accepted calendar in the roman and western world. This reign continued for more than 1600 years. Caesar found that one year is approximately 365.25 days long, and so he decreed that every fourth year, one day would be added to the calendar, making it go from 365 days to 366 days. It was later discontinued because of a mathematical error.
2.2 Hebrew calendar
The present-day Jewish community of Jews is still using this calendar to pinpoint important religious days, which is also referred to as the Jewish calendar. It was introduced in 10 AD and prepared by observing the lunar cycle. Because of the source, one month was added to the calendar every three or four years.
Its use was discontinued as a regular calendar when it became too complicated to follow, and instead, mathematical calculations took over. This comes under the lunisolar calendar category.
What year is it in the Jewish calendar? It’s 5783.
2.3 Hijri calendar
Just as the Hebrew calendar is a religious sacrament for Jews, the Hijri calendar is for Islam. It is used to determine dates for Islam holidays and religious festivals and hence is also called the Islam calendar. It also follows the 12-month-a-year model and has 364 or 365 days in a year accordingly. The calendar marks four months out of the year as holy and sacred.
The calendar starts from 622 AD because that is when Muhammad was said to have emigrated to Medina from Mecca. This means that the year 2022 would be approximately 1444, according to this calendar.
Want to know today’s exact date? Find it here.
2.4 Iranian Muslim calendar
This calendar is said to begin when the modern calendar hits the 21st of March. It has been used in Iran, previously called Persia, for over 2000 years. The number of months in a year is 12, but the months vary in length. The last month is affected because of the leap year as opposed to the second month in the modern calendar. Over the years, the calendar has undergone some major changes due to political, social, and seasonal reasons.
2.5 Buddhist calendar
Mainly prevalent in southeast Asia to ascertain dates for important religious events, the Buddhist calendar builds on top of the old Hindu calendar. One year is equivalent to how long the earth takes to orbit the sun. This means that although the year consists of 365 days, leap years are not accounted for, shifting the calendar out of sync. Every century, the calendar is one day off.
2.6 Vikram Samvat
This is widely used in the Indian subcontinent and is a national historical calendar of Nepal. Also called the Vikrami calendar, it is estimated to be 56-57 years ahead of the modern calendar, the Gregorian calendar. It is said to have two different systems and was introduced around 57-56 BC.
The new year usually falls around after the first spring harvest, somewhere in March of the modern calendar. This day coincides with the Hindu calendar’s first day and is called the Hindu Lunar New Year.
2.7 Chinese calendar
What year is it in China, you ask? It’s 4720.
The Chinese calendar uses the phases of the moon to pinpoint the start of a month. Every new moon marks the beginning of the month. Similarly, the new year isn’t a fixed date but rather falls right in the middle of the winter solstice and spring equinox. Although the country uses the modern calendar for official business, this calendar is quite helpful in determining religious events.
2.8 Holocene calendar
According to the Holocene calendar, the year is 12022. This calendar uses the start of the human ear as its basis, which is 10,000 BC. It avoids taking the year of birth of Christ to be the starting point.
3. Current calendar
The calendar we use in our day-to-day lives was introduced by Pope Gregory the thirteenth in 1582. It is referred to as the Gregorian calendar, and the reason why it came to be was because of religion, namely Christianity. The failure of the Julian calendar to serve the catholic ideals correctly led to the pope intervening and coming up with a calendar that more accurately reflected the catholic holidays.
Easter usually falls on the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, but because of the calculation error in the Julian calendar, the correct prediction of the Easter holiday was in jeopardy. The pope knew that this would lead to distress in the community if the people missed the resurrection of Jesus. To save this from happening, he consulted with Italian scientist Aloysius Lilius to keep the solar event in mind and commission a new calendar reflecting the correct Easter date. The result? The community shifted a full 10 days ahead.
Some say that this was an attempt to persuade the adoption of catholicism all over the globe. Before the worship of Christ became popular, people used to worship gods and goddesses, but this was phased out as catholicism took a stronghold.
Only after a hundred years did it become the most widely used way of keeping track of time. Many countries, including Russia, switched to this calendar as late as 1917.
The only reason why it is still widely in commission is because it revolutionized how we look at leap years. Like the Julian calendar, an additional day is added every four years except for years divisible by 100. But years that are divisible by 400 are leap years. So, 1800 was not a leap year, but 1600 was.
In 525, a Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus ascertained that the birth year of Jesus was the Roman year 753. He restarted the counting of the years from here. This gave the scientific community the whole BC and AD concept. What year is it really on earth if this change did not transpire? It would be the year 2775 today.
But the current year, according to the Gregorian calendar, is 2022. We prefer using this calendar over others that rely solely on the lunar cycle because this one also considers the changing seasons. We know accurately when solar events like equinoxes, solstices, and constellations will occur, thanks to the regularity of the calendar.
But it is believed that come the year 4909; the calendar will be a day ahead. So no, it’s not the most accurate representation of time, but it’s the best we have right now.
Was the world was supposed to end in the year 2012?
Many of us remember the frenzy back in 2012 when rumors and theories about the world ending were spreading like wildfire. We were surrounded by so much unrest and uncertainty relating to the future.
The world was predicted to end on December 21, 2012, at around 11:11 UTC. However, we are now in the year 2022, and almost a decade later, these theories sound nothing short of ridiculous.
But there were many prophecies that people believed pointed towards this upending apocalypse. One of them was that the Mayan calendar was said to end at the precise time. But did the calendar really foretell the end of the world, or was it merely interpreted wrongly?
The Mayan calendar was cyclic in nature, and just as one period ended, another was said to begin. It was only that the end of the Mayan calendar signified that the period was coming to an end, not that the world was ending. Many interpreted this incorrectly and spread lies and misinformation.
The end of the Mayan calendar was just the end of the long-count period, and after the winter solstice of 2012, another long-count period began.
But this frenzy resulted in a phenomenon called the 2012 phenomenon. Many movies, articles, and even games were invented and introduced.
It’s crazy to think that people follow different calendars over the globe and that this phenomenon dates back to the Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians. The usage of different calendars points to a unique aspect of humanity.
Now that we have looked at how the history of calendars is deeply steeped in religion and cultural differences, I hope that your itch for knowing the exact year has been scratched.
I don’t know about you, but this information would take a while to seep in. Time truly is a man-made construct. The fact that the current year is 2022 and is nothing more than a historical accident is dizzying. It could’ve been 12022 if the events in history had unfolded in a different way.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Year
What year is it according to the Chinese zodiac?
According to the Chinese zodiac, the year of 2022 is said to be the year of the tiger. Each year represents an animal and the cycle repeats itself every 12 years. The year of the tiger, is said to bring fortune and since the tiger embodies bravery. The elemental sign of the tiger is said to be water this year.
What year is it according to the Hebrew calendar?
The current year, 2022 is said to be equivalent to the year 5783 in the Hebrew calendar. While the calendar is said to be imprecise with how it only concerns itself with the revolution of earth, it holds significance in the jewish religion and marks the date for several important holidays and events.
What year is it without Christianity?
If christianity didn’t exist, and Dionysius never started the whole AD and BC notion, we would most probably be on the Roman empire’s calendar. They perceived year one to be the year that the city of Rome was founded, which we now know as the 753 BC. The year today would be 2775 A.U.C.
What year is it in Africa?
While most countries in Africa use the Gregorian calendar, one country has its own ancient calendar model which is said to have 13 months and is behind the modern day calendar by approximately 8 years. Ethiopia,one of Africa’s oldest countries, is a country which has a different year than the rest of the world. It is currently 2014 in Ethiopia.
What year is it in Jumanji?
Jumanji is a board game that is highly dangerous and real, the events transpire to have happened in 1969. It transports the game participants to a mythian realm filled with savage and thick canopy of forest.
What year is it scientifically?
The correct year, scientifically speaking, is said to be AD 2022. Science usually keeps track of time by using the Gregorian calendar to have uniformity in its accounts. All over the globe, scientists have agreed to keep the date according to this calendar so that it is easier.
What year is it on the Islamic calendar?
The Islamic calendar is also called the Hirji calendar and according to it, we are living in the year 1444. In this calendar, the year one is attributed to the year where Muhammad journeyed from Mecca to Medina.
What year is it around the world?
The most common calendar used worldwide is the Gregorian calendar and according to it, we are currently in the year 2022. This is the most common calendar and thus all over the world, if you ask the question what year is it now the answer would most certainly be 2022.