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What Year Is It Now? Calendars from Different Countries Around the World

venice new year

What Year Is It Now? This week, Ethiopia celebrated the arrival of the year 2016. Meanwhile, in Israel, people are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, marking the arrival of the year 5784. To ensure that travelers don’t get lost in time, we decided to investigate where in the world it’s currently what year, and when the next new year will arrive.

There are approximately 90 distinct calendars in use across the world, and the Gregorian calendar stands out as the most widespread and commonly adopted globally. It serves as the primary calendar system in a total of 168 countries.

However, each country often maintains its own unique reckoning of time. For instance, the Islamic or Muslim lunar calendar is quite common and is used to determine the dates of religious holidays. Until 2016, it was the official calendar in Saudi Arabia. It counts years from 622 AD, the date of the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina. A year in this calendar consists of 354 or 355 days, with new months beginning with the new moon and days starting at sunset.

Fourteen countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, use this calendar. Currently, it’s the year 1445 in these regions.

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Afghanistan and Iran use their unique solar calendars. These calendars commence each year on the day of the vernal equinox, precisely determined through astronomical observations in Tehran. Presently, it’s the year 1402 in these countries.

What year is it now in Bangladesh? Bangladesh employs the Bengali calendar, a solar calendar with its zero year starting in 593/594 AD. The country’s media and official bodies widely utilize this calendar. The first day of the month Boishakh marks the arrival of the Bengali New Year, typically occurring on April 14th by the Gregorian calendar. The current year in Bangladesh is 1430.

Nepal follows its own calendar called the Vikram Samvat, a lunar calendar rooted in ancient Hindu traditions. It begins each year on the first day after the new moon, which usually falls in March or April by the Gregorian calendar. Currently, it’s the year 2080 in Nepal.

India utilizes the Saka calendar alongside the Gregorian calendar. The Saka calendar comprises 365 days and 12 months, structurally similar to the Gregorian calendar. However, the first month, Chaitra, starts on March 22nd by the Gregorian calendar. This calendar is also used by Indonesian Hindus in Bali and Java, and it’s employed by the media in these regions. The current year in this calendar is 1946.

Israel follows the Jewish calendar, a lunar-solar calendar used worldwide for Jewish religious practices. To align the lunar year, which is about 11 days shorter, with the solar year, an extra month is inserted into the calendar every 2 or 3 years. This occurs seven times in a 19-year cycle. The year 5784 in the Jewish calendar is currently being celebrated from September 15th to 17th.

The Thai calendar is a subtype of the lunisolar Buddhist calendar. Additional days or a 30-day month are inserted at irregular intervals. Songkran, the Thai New Year, falls on April 13th. Currently, it’s the year 2566 in Thailand.

Myanmar uses the Burmese calendar, as well as a lunisolar calendar. Months are based on lunar phases, and years follow sidereal years (365.26 Earth days, the time it takes for Earth to orbit the sun). Myanmar uses this calendar alongside the Gregorian calendar for official purposes and to mark traditional holidays, such as the Burmese New Year, which falls on April 17th.

In Japan, alongside the Gregorian calendar, the Imperial era calendar is used, denoting the reign of the current Emperor. The current Emperor, Naruhito, ascended the throne on May 1, 2019. Therefore, in Japan, it’s not only 2023 but also the year 5 of the Imperial era.

Taiwan currently uses the Minguo calendar, which counts years from 1911. Interestingly, it aligns with the Juche calendar used in North Korea. North Korea’s reckoning of time begins with the birth year of Kim Il-sung, which corresponds to 1912 by the Gregorian calendar and is referred to as “Juche 1.”

As this exploration demonstrates, the concept of time is wonderfully diverse across the globe, reflecting the unique histories and cultural identities of each region. Whether it’s celebrating Rosh Hashanah in Israel, Songkran in Thailand, or the Bengali New Year in Bangladesh, these calendars and their respective celebrations offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of global traditions and customs.

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