Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

According To Pope Gregory XIII

I get a kick out of reading history and discovering the origins of things that we take for granted day-to-day.

For example the calendar that we in the “Western Culture” follow, was specifically designed so that the vernal equinox would fall on March 21. Thereby guaranteeing that all the churches would celebrate Easter on the same day. (The customary practice in the 3rd century was for Christians to consult their Jewish neighbors to determine when the week of Unleavened Bread would fall, and to set Easter on the Sunday that fell within that week.)

Easter is generally accepted as the Sunday following the Full Moon following the vernal equinox. (Figuring out how to fit 13 moons into a 12 month calendar, gets a bit tricky.)

What’s more, I found out how we can calculate leap year, (which is used for adjusting the calendar to reality). The way the Gregorian calendar does this is to make leap years the years that are divisible by four, (with the exception of the centuries that are divisible by 100), and for the most part that works.

Not everyone in every country welcomed this change because many of them had their own particular calendars and feel that a universal calendar is an imposition and an attack on their firmly held, though mostly incorrect, beliefs.

Denmark for example, (part of my ancestry), didn’t change their calendar immediately. In fact, in 1700, they only changed the solar calendar to the Gregorian calculations, but not the lunar calendar by which one computes the date of Easter.

This from Wikipedia;

Denmark, which then included Norway and some Protestant states of Germany, adopted the solar portion of the new calendar on Monday, 1 March 1700,[22] following Sunday, 18 February 1700, because of the influence of Ole Rømer, but did not adopt the lunar portion. Instead, they decided to calculate the date of Easter astronomically using the instant of the vernal equinox and the full moon according to Kepler's Rudolphine Tables of 1627. They finally adopted the lunar portion of the Gregorian calendar in 1776. The remaining provinces of the Dutch Republic also adopted the Gregorian calendar in July 1700 (Gelderland), December 1700 (Utrecht and Overijssel) and January 1701 (Friesland and Groningen).

For a more complete and fascinating study of the Gregorian calendar, click here.

The Big Bowl Game

Credit links - Stadium Pic  and  Poster

This is the weekend of the bowl games. I can’t begin to name all the dozens of different bowl games that have come about since the original Rose Bowl, (The Cotton bowl and Orange Bowl are the only ones that come to mind).

One of the reasons I can’t name these other bowl games as they keep changing the names what was the Cotton Bowl is now Joe’s Tire Bowl, or some such nonsense.

Luckily they haven’t changed the name of the Rose Bowl or the Rose Parade, (at least I hope not). I guess I’ll find out if I remember to turn on the TV tomorrow.

In the meantime; I wish you and I, (and everyone we know), a happy new year.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;

  Rt. 66 by Phil Seymour

Happy Gregorian New Year

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