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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Calender Julian and Islamic

The Julian calendar was adopted by Rome in the first century BC. It was a solar calendar, meaning that the year is defined by the length of time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun (approximately 365 days). The Julian calendar included an extra day every four years, but failed to allow for a small error that continued to accumulate and caused a slow movement of the seasons. In the sixth century, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus suggested that the year in which Jesus was born be used as a benchmark for other dates. This system gradually spread and dates were designated AD (Anno Domini) or BC (before Christ). Pope Gregory XIII ordered a revision of the calendar in the late 16th century AD in order to eliminate the error in the Julian calendar. The correction resulted in the loss of 10 days. The Gregorian calendar also established January 1st as the beginning of the year. Today, in place of AD and BC, dates are sometimes designated as CE (common era) or BCE (before common era).

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, meaning that its months are defined by the length of time it takes the moon to pass through its phases. It has 12 months of 29 or 30 days each, and the resulting year has either 354 or 355 days. The first year of the Islamic calendar is the year in which Muhammad fled to Medina, 622 AD. Because it is a lunar calendar with fewer days than the solar year, the months of the year do not correspond to seasons as they do in the Gregorian calendar. Instead, the Islamic months move backward through the solar year. Thus the holy month of Ramadan may occur in any season.


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