Today’s date is 11 January, in the year 2011 AD (2011-01-11) … using the Gregorian Solar Calendar … a special day ! We know this well … or, rather, we think that we know this …
BUT … this year is also 1432 H … using the Islamic Lunar Calendar … and it began a few weeks ago, back in early December 2010 ! The ‘H’ after the date indicates that it is the ‘Hijri Calendar’ … based on the Qur’ân [Sûrah 9 (At-Tawba): Verses 36 & 37]. Its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims. This is the official calendar for many countries in the Arab Gulf Region.
In Japan … this is the year 23, in the Era of Heisei (written as ‘Heisei 23’) … based on, and beginning with, the reign of the current Emperor Akihito.
In China … the Year of the Rabbit will begin on 3 February 2011 (2011-02-03) !
What a wonderful world we live in !