Calendar Days

Happy New Year, and a waxing crescent moon. There’s a comet near the moon, too,   in the southwest sky. It’s called Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková—or 45P for short. It’s not easy to see without binoculars or a telescope, but  it is there. You can read more about it here.

The moon has its own calendar, its changing phases.  Many  cultures have measured time by the lunar calendar, as well as solstices and equinoxes.

The Chinese New Year, following the lunar calendar, will be celebrated on January 28th 2017. It will be the Year of the Rooster.

The Jewish calendar  marks the new year at Rosh Hashanah, which occurs in September or October. The current year began at sunset on October 2 of 2016.  You can read more here.

These  dates may be listed  on the calendar you use today.  Maybe you even received one as a gift, with lovely artwork or photos of  cats, puppies,  or the  Cubs to hang on a wall, or a kitchen door.  At least, I think  people still have wall calendars along with daily calendars  on their phones.

Notice the layout of the calendar pictured above. What a marvel of  clarity and design,  and it could fit in your pocket!  The entire year is laid out at a glance, an overview, a look at  the future.

The calendar we use today is called the Gregorian calendar, It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.  You can read more about the history, here.

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today. It replaced the Julian calendar, named after Julius Ceasar, and  the months still retain the Roman names.

January is named after the Roman god Janus, god of doorways and beginnings. Janus  is depicted as having two  faces—one face looked to the past, one face looked to the future.

So we too begin a new year in January.

Two weeks past the winter solstice, we notice the increasing light.  We look back at the year just past, and ahead to the days  to come.





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  • Thank you for a beautiful and useful explanation. Yes, I have a wall calendar, and I'm enjoying starting to map out the year with it... or at least map out the month. Happy new year!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Happy New Year, my friend!

  • I was born in the year of the Horse
    And my wife in the year of the Rat
    Which means we should not mix perforce.
    But together four children begat.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    This proves your elements are in harmony, AW-- Happy New Year!

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Sounds like an episode of Ren and Stimpy.

  • Another instance of how one can't trust the calendar. The Chabad calendar has Dec. 25 as "Legal Holiday." However, it must not have been, as the garbage was not picked up on Dec. 26.

  • On a similar note, I noted what was wrong with this Blondie.

  • In reply to jack:

    Good one, Jack! It's brisk out there, today...

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    It got cold again, but as a rarity here, and not reflected in any of the comics, there isn't any snow. Sort of belies Skilling's theory that snow cover is needed to usher in the Arctic express.

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