The Gregorian Calendar

Often we can’t help setting new goals every new year: I want to exercise more; I want to spend less time on social media and spend more time with my friends and family; I want to read more; I want to eat healthier; I want to improve my school grades. Twenty-twenty is no different. Especially when many consider it the start of a new decade. But has anyone considered for a moment why it has to be 2020? We know the world has been existing for more than 2,020 years, so why that number in particular?

 One answer might be that it has been 2,020 years since Jesus Christ was born, so we began keeping track of the years since then. We even have a Latin phrase called Anno Domini— or AD, for short— meaning “in the year of our Lord,” referring to the year of Christ’s birth. We called the years before Christ was born Before Christ, or BC for short. What about those who are not religious and don’t believe in God? They also have CE (Current Era) and BCE (Before Current Era). Yet finding out about these years barely scratches the surface; they pertain only to a specific calendar— the Gregorian Calendar. Although the Gregorian Calendar is most used in the Western World today, other calendars are still being used in certain regions. These include the Julian Calendar, the Hebrew Calendar, and the Iranian Calendar. But for now, we’ll have a closer look at the Gregorian Calendar.

The Gregorian Calendar was established in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform for the Julian Calendar. According to, a “slight inaccuracy in the measurement…caused the calendar dates of the seasons to regress almost one day per century.”  The change was effected by advancing the calendar 10 days after Oct. 4, 1582, the day following being October 15— imagine losing 10 days of your life in the blink of an eye. The change was adopted by Spain, the German Catholic, Portugal, and the Italian States shortly after. Slowly, other nations began adopting the Gregorian calendar. Islamic countries retained their calendars based on Islam

Since then, the majority of the Western World has been using the Gregorian Calendar, and it seems like it will stick around for a little longer. So I suppose we can keep setting goals for ourselves that we give up on within the first 15 days of the year. Cheers to a new year and a new beginning of a decade!