Just 2 weeks ago, many of us were wishing each other “Happy New Year!” (Some of us might still be saying it if we haven’t seen someone in awhile.) Often when I say it, I assume that everyone around the world is saying the same thing. After all, January 1 happens everywhere, right?
Well, yes…and no. Yes, time moves forward around the world (last that I checked, no one is able to stop time). However, the western calendar, the Gregorian calendar, is only one of many. Although it is internationally accepted as the civil calendar, many people follow other calendars. This means that multiple “new years” occur each year!
With that in mind, think about about how many times you could wish someone a “Happy New Year” in 2015! Here’s just a sample:
- Chinese New Year–February 19
- Hindi & Telegu & Persian–March 21
- Tamil & Sikh–April 14
- Ethiopian–September 12
- Jewish–September 13
- Islamic–October 15
- Jain–November 12
- Christian–November 29
My challenge to you this year is to consider what other calendars your friends, neighbors, and co-workers might follow. Is it possible that some of them celebrate a different new year, or multiple new years? Find out what they celebrate and then wish them a big “Happy New Year” on that day(s). I bet they’ll be thrilled that you remembered! And you can enjoy multiple new year parties while building bridges across cultural differences!
photo by Stig Nygaard