The Sun or the Moon


A calendar is a system of organizing days for cultural, social, religious, civil, and/or commercial purposes. The “new year” is a time in which a specific calendar cycle is completed, starts over, and is repeated. The majority of calendars in the world follow a solar, synchronized with the sun, or a lunar, synchronized with the moon, system of organization. The most widely used is the Gregorian calendar which is a solar calendar with the new year happening January 1st. The most widely followed and recognized lunar calendar belongs to the Chinese culture and is celebrated by over a billion people around the world and has its new year falling between January 21st and February 21st each year.

Did you know there are over 37 “new years” celebrated around the world which happen all “year” long? In Tibet the new year is called Losar and can fall anywhere between January through to March. In Iran the new year is called Nowruz and happens on either March 20th or 21st. In Thailand the new year involves a water festival which is called Songkran and is celebrated April 13th – 15th.

In every calendar the new year brings a time of celebration and reflection. No matter which calendar you follow, when the new year takes place, the repeating of the calendar reminds us how quickly time flies by. Each new year brings an understanding of the paradox of time; the passage of time is always the same, but with each new year that passage of time seems to go by faster and faster.

I am amazed at how quickly time has flown by for myself and my family. It seems like just yesterday my children needed help eating supper, tying their shoes, or learning their multiplication tables. Now two of my children are in another continent attending university, making their way in the world, and my youngest is not far behind. As we celebrate a new year this weekend, let us remember how precious time is with our children and resolve to take time, to make time, to spend with them in the coming year before the sun or the moon tells us again how quickly time is passing us by.

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Dalat Director

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people to make a positive impact on their world, walk with integrity, and follow Christ. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Dalat Director since 2006.

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