2019 – A New Year
We just changed the calendar of 2018 and replaced it with a calendar for 2019. For those who go by the Gregorian calendar, today was the first day in the new year. Up until three years ago, that was the only calendar I knew, and it confused me how other cultures celebrated new year at different times. To change the year between the month of December and January, just had to be the most logical time to do it, right?
The Gregorian calendar that we are all familiar with, is a solar calendar with 12 months and 365 days and each month lasts between 28 and 31 days.
In Islam we follow a completely different calendar. The hijri calendar is a lunar calendar and also has twelve months, with either 29 or 30 days each, and approximately 354 days in a year. However, the month-shift is based on the position of the moon. Each month starts with the sighting of the new moon, and proceeds until the next time the new moon is seen.
The months are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi al-awwal, Rabi al-thani, Jumada al-awwal, Jumada al-thani, Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhul Qadah, and Dhul Hijja.
By the Hijri calendar we are now in end of the third month Rabi al-awwal in the year 1440. Which makes yesterday and today no more special than any other day. New Years Eve still holds a place in my heart, as that was a day I would celebrate with my family when I was a kid. We would attend church, watch the fireworks at midnight, and eat delicious food and cakes. Then after midnight we would crack jokes about eating “old” food from the previous year. If I was asked about New Year Resolutions I would normally say something along the lines of “doing better in school”. And my family’s own tradition was to measure our height on New Years Day, to see how much we had grown in the year. I have no idea how we started, but it became a thing we did every year. I kinda miss it.
This year, I didn’t do anything in particular. My brother is visiting us from Norway and we were hoping to catch the firework show in town, but that got cancelled due to rain and strong winds. Instead we stayed up watching a movie and eating ice cream and chocolate chip cookies (from last year obviously) and jokingly wished each other happy new year.
I gotta say this has been a good year for me and I look forward to everything that is awaiting us in this upcoming year.
With that I want to wish everyone who reads this a happy new year, and I sincerely hope and pray that this year will be beneficial and peaceful for everyone.