Posted by: travelrat | January 5, 2020

Happy New Decade … or Not?

Here we are at the start of a new decade. Or, so just about every media outlet I see would have us believe. But, they’re wrong! I accept that I’m probably a lone voice crying in the wilderness, and I know it sounds horribly pedantic, but the ‘new decade’ doesn’t, strictly speaking, start until 2021.

The reason is there was never a ‘Zero AD’; if they numbered years back then as they do today, the ‘first decade’ would have been 1 AD to 10 AD. The older people among us may remember some of us had the same argument 20 years ago. Even the eminent science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke argued that the 21st Century didn’t start till 2001.

We have the same thing with our seasons. ‘They’ will tell us that the 1st March/June/September/December heralds the first day of Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter. We were taught that it happened on the 21st of each month … the time of the Solstices and Equinoxes. (I could have been really pedantic here, and written ‘equinoces’!!). In this case, it doesn’t really matter; since when has Nature taken any notice of the calendar?

Also, Boxing Day. Most people accept that it’s always the 26th December; the day after Christmas Day. That wasn’t always the case … up until relatively recently, if the 26th December fell on a Sunday, it was just St. Stephen’s Day. Boxing Day was the 27th. One theory is that the reason for the name was that workers would receive their ‘Christmas Box’, or bonus from their employers on this day … and, in a lot of places, people didn’t work on a Sunday.

But, again, it doesn’t really matter. Most people in Britain don’t work on Boxing Day anyway … and, if they still get their ‘Christmas Boxes’, it will probably be paid into their bank account at the end of the month.


Responses

  1. You’ve given me something to think about here and certainly something to task the young one’s minds with when they next visit.


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