Merry Christmas to you all, speaking of which, what happened 2017 years ago that began the count?

multicultural-christmas-and-new-year-card

I picked up from Andrew Bolt how our Multicultural Commission sends out Christmas cards that deliberately don’t mention Christmas. But even so, I do notice that they are wishing others “A Wonderful New Year”. I can only presume they are referring to the New Year that begins the week after Christmas, on the first day of January, and not any of the other calendar years that have existed and continue to exist.

Once upon a time, we would say that the year is AD 2017 [AD being Anno Domini, the Year of our Lord]. We would compare that with, say, the year of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. [B.C. being “Before Christ”]. But whatever else the coming year may be, the count starts with the birth of Jesus, which we are celebrating tonight and tomorrow, even if in yearly terms the timing is out by a year or two. There are other calendars around, and there are different years we are up to in all of those calendars. But this one is ours, and it has more or less become the calendar across the world and accepted by all cultures. This is in no small part because it is the only solar calendar around – which, as it happens, Julius Caesar picked up from Cleopatra while sailing down the Nile in around 47 B.C. That is why it was the Julian calendar, which was replaced in the sixteenth century by the Gregorian Calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII.

Let me wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas. We will discuss the New Year in a week’s time.

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51 Responses to Merry Christmas to you all, speaking of which, what happened 2017 years ago that began the count?

  1. Ant

    Same to you, Steve, and all Cats.

  2. Elle

    I heard Malcom Turnbull being interviewed this morning on 2GB. I didn’t hear the beginning of the interview, so he may have said it then, but I noted at the end when he was wished a Merry Christmas, he didn’t reciprocate. He seems to be in-tune with his sidekick, Julie Bishop.

  3. Rabz

    Merry Christams to you all – up in Sydney, relaxin with beer in my mate’s backyard, playing some tunes and with his cat poking around on the table.

    He’d better not try and sample some of my beer. Christmas cheer only extends so far, after all.

  4. TC

    Merry Christmas , Steve and everyone .

  5. alf

    Merry Christmas to all except the multicultural commission and AHRC who can go and get fucked!!!

  6. Boambee John

    If you wish to annoy the PC types who refer to the Common Era (CE) or Before the Common Era (BCE), ask them what event demarcates the two eras.

    They tie themselves in knots trying to avoid using the word “Christ”.

  7. incoherent rambler

    Merry Christmas to all.
    Thank you Mr. Kates for some great work in 2016.

  8. Tel

    So you guys don’t subscribe to all that BCE business?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Era

    Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by J-wish academics in the mid-19th century. Since the later 20th century, use of CE and BCE has been popularized in academic and scientific publications and more generally by authors and publishers wishing to emphasize secularism or sensitivity to non-Christians, because it does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”), which are used in the BC/AD notation, nor does it give implicit expression to the Christian creed that Jesus is the Christ.

  9. jupes

    Merry Christmas Steve.

    Thanks for your posts this year, they have been a joy to read.

  10. test pattern

    For all Xmas pissheads. You are permitted. From Surah An Nahl.

    وَمِن ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالْأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

  11. gary@erko

    Sundown tonight is also the start of the eight days of Chanukah in the year 5777.
    Merry Christmas for the year 2017 AD or CE, whichever puts a glow in yer heart.
    Dry Bones, cartoonist laureate of Israel

  12. test pattern

    ‘And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who reason.’

    I think God said this, or someone pretty close to him. Xmas cheer from Surah An Nahl.

  13. Some History

    A wonderful Christmas to all.

    Twas the night
    Before Christmas
    When all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring
    Not even a mouse

    And the PC plonker brigade were out
    and about, lurking here, lurking there, to ensure
    the word “Christmas” would never air”

    Christmas…Christmas…Christmas….CHRISTmas.

    CHRISTmas

  14. Robber Baron

    From Mandalay in Myanmar, Steve l wish you a very merry Christmas.

    To Christians l wish you well in celebrating the anniversary of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    To all non-Christians l wish you peace and goodwill to your fellow man in the true Christian spirit.

  15. Rabz

    “Christmas”

    Apologies all – bloody iPad.

  16. Leo G

    I picked up from Andrew Bolt how our Multicultural Commission sends out Christmas cards that deliberately don’t mention Christmas.

    The cards clearly state refer to the Festive Season (aka Holiday Season) which extends from US Thanksgiving to New Year of the Gregorian calendar including Hanukkah, Christmas and West African Kwanzaa.
    The recipients are being wished to have a happy and peaceful US secular holiday season. It appears the Multicultural Commission don’t know which culture they are commissioned to serve.

  17. Gordion

    CE/BCE – something I get rid of as the agnostic editor of a journal working for an atheist editor-in-chief born in the erstwhile USSR. We are happy to have BC/AD in our Instructions to Authors – barely a murmur of dissent. It is all modish drivel, driven by the usual suspects (who are signalling not their virtue but a hollowed-out form of dull progressivism).

  18. Stackja

    Merry Christ Mass to all.

  19. Stackja

    A storm in Sydney dampening all outdoors.

  20. BorisG

    Merry Christmas to all, and Hannukah Sameah to all as well!

  21. Elle

    Storm raging here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

  22. Stackja

    Elle – north west storms too.

  23. Stackja

    My Hebrew friend accepts Christmas too.

  24. BorisG

    Beautiful weather here in Perth!

  25. Stackja

    Oops! Forgot to disguise word more.

  26. Elle

    Stackja – Low, dark clouds. Creepy. Hope Santa can find his way through it all. 🙂

  27. Megan

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! See you on the other side of the(home-made by me) Christmas pudding. Hope Santa is good to all of you and that in 2017, my deepest wish to see the Usurper banished into the outer darkness, is achieved post haste.

  28. Stackja

    WA getting rain up north.

  29. Anne

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Steve.

    And my sincere thanks to you for being a courageous and sane voice in a mad world.

  30. King Koala

    Be sure to wish all muslims, neckbeards and militant atheists you see a merry christmas.

  31. Leo G

    Merry Christmas to you all, speaking of which, what happened 2017 years ago that began the count?

    There was no reference first calendar year in the Julian Calendar until what is now referred to as the 6th century AD (or CE). I think the Byzantine Calendar from 691 AD was the first to count years from a standard reference year (but with a 6,200 year offset). In that case, it was notionally the Biblical creation that began the count.

  32. Ellen of Tasmania

    “Once upon a time, there was a secular nation that wanted to forget about Christmas. They did not even like the smell of it. And so they had their scholars and think tank johnnies try to get people to use CE for Common Era and BCE for Before Common Era.

    It was intolerable, you see, to simply date everything by reference to Christ’s birth … This is the sort of thing we should just laugh at, and if it catches on, we should start saying that C.E. just stands for Christ’s Empire, which is two thousand years established and still growing strong.”

  33. Splatacrobat

    Merry Christmas.
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Isaiah 9.6

  34. JohnA

    Boambee John #2243770, posted on December 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    If you wish to annoy the PC types who refer to the Common Era (CE) or Before the Common Era (BCE), ask them what event demarcates the two eras.

    They tie themselves in knots trying to avoid using the word “Christ”.

    Chuckle.

    They can’t even recognise that the same dating principle is still in use – dates are reckoned from the ascendency of the most powerful Emperor/King.

    Ellen, I like CE = Christ’s Empire. May I use it generally, please?

  35. Tintarella di Luna

    Merry Christmas everyone, thanks for the enlightening discussions and the laughs.

  36. Philippa Martyr

    Two days ago, I saw a Sikh taxi driver having a pleasant and animated discussion with his passenger in the front seat.

    Who happened to be Santa. In full rig.

    Now that is multiculturalism.

  37. J.H.

    Not to forget the Base 60 numeral system borrowed from the Sumerians. Sexagesimal.

  38. J.H.

    From Wikipedia.
    The length of the tropical year in Neo-Babylonian astronomy (see Hipparchus), 365.24579… days, can be expressed in sexagesimal as 6,5;14,44,51 (6 × 60 + 5 + 14/60 + 44/602 + 51/603) days.

    The average length of a year in the Gregorian calendar is exactly 6,5;14,33 in the same notation because the values 14 and 33 were the first two values for the tropical year from the Alfonsine tables, which were in sexagesimal notation.

  39. Brislurker

    Merry Christmas to all Cats, Sinc and Jacques, I hope the day brings joy your way.

    It seems to me that people are going out of their way to wish each other “Merry Christmas” this year, feels good. Might just be an extension of “winning”. 😀

  40. Ubique

    Merry Christmas all. Only 26 days to President Trump’s inauguration. Hallelujah!

  41. johanna

    Philippa Martyr
    #2244128, posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Two days ago, I saw a Sikh taxi driver having a pleasant and animated discussion with his passenger in the front seat.

    Who happened to be Santa. In full rig.

    Now that is multiculturalism.

    My Sikh taxi driver wished me Merry Christmas yesterday. And he is devout – he’s off to a huge Sikh religious festival in India in a couple of weeks.

    We need more Sikhs and less Muslims. Oh, and Sikhs detest Muslims, who have historically persecuted them with a vengeance.

    Merry Christmas to Cats, Kittehs and our esteemed proprietor and his elves.

  42. Bruce in WA

    You’ll be pleased to know the Australin National Curriculum eschews all thought of BCE and CE in favour if BC and AD.

  43. Siltstone

    I’ve responded to the senders of emailed “Happy Holidays” and “Festive Season” cards from buinesses and organisations with questions like “to which holidays/season to your refer?” If they respond, they typically and say things like “we’ve always used this phrase”, “everyone else does it”, or “it comes from the marketing department”. Sometimes I keep on and wish them a “Merry Christmas” and ask if they feel offended by that, to which they invariably respond “no”, proving it is inoffensive and proving the idiocy of the PC approach.

  44. old bloke

    But whatever else the coming year may be, the count starts with the birth of Jesus, which we are celebrating tonight and tomorrow, even if in yearly terms the timing is out by a year or two.

    The best indicators show that the timing was out by three years, and that Yahoshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles in the year 3 BC on our calendar. That would also have been a Jubilee Year as Yoseph and Miriam journeyed from Nazareth to their home town Bethlehem.

    Merry Christmas to you Steve and all the Cats, thanks for your posts over the year.

  45. Razor

    heartening to see that Christianity still hovers in the background as evidenced in Catallaxy. I am not a worshipper as I cannot perceive of a just God with such vanity as to require pagan obesience. I have the uutmost respect and awe for a God who I cannot percieve in anything other than human terms. I also have the hope (not blind faith, I have lttle faith.) that the life and death of Christ is for the purpose as delineated in the Bible – a restoration of human creation back to the eternal life that was originally given as the companion to the gift of life. For those who have an interest – I study the books of prophecy in the bible just as Issiac Newton did. You may find it of interest to ponder the wonderful sets of sevens in the book of Revelation. I study for no reason other than interest sake. Prediction in time lines is a futile pre-occupation, as Newton discovered.
    Seven is the Jewish number representing perfection and occurs all through out the old testament. It is present in the New testament as well. Most importantly Christ was crucified on the seventh day.
    As I see it, Revelation covers the whole period of history from the promise given to Abraham down to the end of this era. Anyone like to have a go at describing the “false prophet” of Revelation in relation to now.
    I have written on the first phase of sevens which simply describe Theocratic history down to the death of Christ (“silence in heaven”) and find that the end of the book (and the scriptures) provides me with hope as it shows the great denoument that leads to the return of the hopeful to the fold.
    Best wishes to all.

  46. Henry2

    Best wishes to you, Steve and all Cats. Still 4 hours to go here but merry Christmas in any case.

  47. Jannie

    Oh, also Merry Christmas to all of good cheer.

  48. pbw

    A post-lunch, post-booze and post-snooze Merry Christmas to all. AD 2016 (after lunch).

  49. Leo G

    The best indicators show that the timing was out by three years, and that Yahoshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles in the year 3 BC on our calendar.

    The notional Gregorian Calendar date for the Feast of Tabernacles in 3BC (15 Tishrei 3757 of the Hebrew lunisolar calendar) is from sunset Sunday 22 September.
    Those shepherds watching their flocks by night may not have been unseasonal after all.

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