It's 2000 years on the Christian calender, but what about the rest of the world
by Clark Humphrey
The next year is called 2000 A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for "Year of Our Lord") because a Catholic monk named Dionysius Exiguus was asked by the church to calculate future years dates for Easter (based on the Jewish Passover, which in turn is based on a complicated formula involving full moon and the vernal equinox).
According to calendar scholar Claus Tøndering, "At that time it was customary to count years since the reign of emperor Diocletian; but in his calculations Dionysius chose to number the years since the birth of Christ, rather than honour the persecutor Diocletian."
Dionysius chose to base his research on what he figured was the birth year of Jesus Christ. Eventually, the church officially adopted his figures, in the year that was proclaimed to be 523 A.D. (Some non-Christians prefer the alternate designation "C.E.," for "Common Era".)
If the church hadnt chosen to renumber the years, Jan. 1, 2000 would have fallen in the Roman year 2753 A.U.C. ("Ab urbe condita," Latin for "since the founding of Rome").
According to the Astronomical Yearbook, here are some other years numbers that will be in effect on 1/1/2000:
Calendar Type Year
"Decade by Decade" Party Themes:
Probably the one of these youre most familiar with is the Chinese calendar. When 2000 starts, the traditional Chinese year will still be 4697, a Year of the Rabbit. Year 4698, a Year of the Dragon, starts on our Feb. 5, 2000. While China officially uses the western (Gregorian) calendar, the traditional calendar is still used to determine the dates of festivals and cultural events, including New Years celebrations.
Clark Humphrey's is a contributing writer to Everything2000. His pop-culture report is now daily at WWW.MISCMEDIA.COM.
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