02005-02-01 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

Music: Bjork – Vespertine

Today is my 46th birthday. I have completed 46 years since my birth in 1959.

In a few days I will be 48 according to the Chinese way of counting. In China one is considered 1 year old when born and a year is added on the first day of every lunar calendar. In 1959 the lunar year started on February 8th, exactly a week after I was born. That means a week after I was born I was already 2 years old according to the Chinese count…

Because the lunar year started February 8th, I am a dog (1958) rather than a boar (1959).

February 9th, 2005 is the beginning of the new lunar year of the rooster – and I will turn 48. Two birthdays in one month. But, Chinese people don’t celebrate a meager 48 years…

Traditionally, Chinese people do not pay a lot of attention to birthdays until they are 60 years old. The 60th birthday is regarded as a very important point of life and therefore there is often a big celebration. After that, a birthday celebration is held every ten years, that is the 70th, the 80th, etc, until the person’s death. Generally, the older the person is, the greater the celebration occasion is.

Western: It is all about me and my birthday. Birthday is a celebration of the individual.
Eastern: It is about us and we all celebrate our birthday on the same day – lunar new year. Birthday is a celebration of the group/society.
(Zen: What birthday? Who’s born?)

Aren’t those all different facets of the same diamond? All constructs of the mind, concepts that are neither true nor untrue. I wish we would all celebrate both birthdays. We could light a candle on our individual birthday and throw a big party on our mankind birthday!

, ,


  1. Yumiko

    My father used to count his age by the era (old school) and used to say that it was not your age, but what did (past tense) you learn (reflection). Certain ages (ex: 88th) are celebrated.
    Look forward to your next 48!

  2. Carol

    Happy Birthday. We’re all blessed that you are here.

  3. Flavio

    Wow!!! Happy birthday! I wish you have a great day and live long enough to celebrate your birthdays not only in the western way but also in the eastern way.

    February is a great month. I am not much of a Zodiac guy but I think this is the month of Aquarius. They say it is a very spiritual and intuitive sign. Parabéns e muitos anos de vida!

  4. djalisgypsy

    Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful one… You are truly a very special individual!

  5. Adam Solomon

    Well, the Chinese might not put a lot of emphasis on it, but still, have a very happy birthday!! One of them, at least :) The next, we can celebrate very soon!

  6. Robin

    Wait, my birthday is Feb. 9…what happens then? Two years in one day?
    Happy Birthday!!

  7. Matt Callahan

    Many happy returns of your natal anniversary.

  8. salma

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Carolynn

    Another very Western way to celebrate your birthday is to lie about your age. ; ) So you can say that this is the anniversary of your 29th birthday. If you want to see if someone is paying attention, you can say that this is the 16th anniversary of your 29th birthday!

    Anyway… Wishing you happiness today and everyday!

  10. Chag

    Happy B-Day OL!! I wish you nothing but the best in all your future endeavors, I’ll see you at the rendezvous with destiny.



  11. djalisgypsy

    I wrote you Happy Birthday poem on my djalisgypsy@, I hope you can view it because I can’t pull it up. I wanted to send it earlier when I originally wished you a Happy Birthday, got sidetracked! Hope you had a happy and peaceful day…

  12. Carol

    When you think about it, you really should be a year old when you’re born. Ask any mother who has carried one ere then. I guess it was decided so long ago that when a baby was born, everyone just said, “Wow where did that come from?”


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




@Mastodon (the Un-Twitter)