I read a story the other day by Lù xūn (陸勳), a key influencer of China’s modern cultural revolution, and considered the founder of modern Chinese literature. The story, entitled “Benediction,” starts with this sentence. “The end of the year according to the lunar calendar is, after all, the right time for the year to end.”
In case you’ve forgotten, the lunar calendar, used by many Asian countries until 1949, is based on the phases of the moon. The Gregorian calendar, used by almost everyone today (except a couple of the countries the U.S. is in conflict with), is based on the movement of the Earth around the sun. The Lunar New Year arrived on January 25, 2020, and is the beginning of the lunar calendar.
It’s very possible our calendar is screwed up. The Gregorian one that is. Why would anyone start a new year in the middle of winter? The new year should start on May 1. May is a pretty good month, so let’s start the year then. I mean, wouldn’t you rather start and end the year when the weather’s getting nice? Of course, you would. We should also adjust the clocks so it never gets dark before 8:30 p.m. What’s the sense of changing time if it still gets dark early? That means monthly changes, but so what. If things get too messed up we will resync on May 1, the start of our new year.
I don’t know who to talk to about making these changes, but I’m sure most of you agree we need them. Especially if you live in the Chicago area like I do. Once we get the calendar and the clocks fixed then we can start working on making changes to the winter weather. Wait, now that I think about it, none of this matters if we’re on lockdown. We can celebrate New Year’s Day, and change clocks whenever we want. Dates and times don’t matter anymore. This quarantine deal may not be so bad after all.