Happy New Year of the Dog!

Wishing you all well and the best of health!

May you and everyone that is dear to you prosper and thrive during this new Year of the Dog!

Having returned from an extended trip to India missing out on the local Swedish Christmas and New Year celebrations* and just missing the peak of Pongal, we are slowly building up to the spring festivities of the Chinese New Year. 28-29 January 2006, and the Muslim New Year 1427 beginning on Muharram 1 = 30-31 January!

If you like to find out what Animal sign that corresponds to your birthdate you can consult this quick and dirty concordance to the Chinese Animalsigns. There are some finer details to scrutinize for those born in the beginning of the year. i.e jan-feb to see if you belong to the previous Chinese year.

It would seem possible to celebrate all sorts of new years. But I guess it is a little like the problems of standards, how many can you have and still call them standard? It is however some sort of consolation that if you seem to get stuck with a particularily obdurate year, you can jump to another reckoning of time, start over with a clean slate and get another totally unused year, be it 2006, 1427, etc. etc.

* As for the Gregorian Calender Sweden has a curious history. Sweden decided to make a gradual change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. By dropping every leap year from 1700 through 1740 the eleven superfluous days would be omitted and from 1 Mar 1740 they would be in sync with the Gregorian calendar. (But in the meantime they would be in sync with nobody!)

So 1700 (which should have been a leap year in the Julian calendar) was not a leap year in Sweden. However, by mistake 1704 and 1708 became leap years. This left Sweden out of synchronisation with both the Julian and the Gregorian world, so they decided to go ‘back’ to the Julian calendar. In order to do this, they inserted an extra day in 1712, making that year a double leap year! So in 1712, February had 30 days in Sweden.

Later, in 1753, Sweden changed to the Gregorian calendar by dropping 11 days like everyone else.

For more history on attempts at measuring the unmeasurable and further ideas on more onedimensional descriptions of time I highly recommend this link: