Different Calendars Offer Different Perspective on Upcoming Millennium

September 5, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 5, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that not everybody will be celebrating a new millennium. Baha'is will celebrate the year 156, Muslims will be in the year 1420, and Jews will be in the year 5760 along with a total of 40 other calendars in use around the world which locate people in a time other than 1999. Even disputes about the Gregorian calendar in both the past and present offer a different moment for the millennium. Shimel Erfanian, a Baha'i, stated: "To us, the new millennium has no real significance...But we realize it may for other people." Ron Wolfson, vice president at the University of Judaism, worries that Jews won't celebrate Shabbat (December 31st), the way they should: "The challenge for a lot of synagogues will be to encourage their congregants to celebrate that Friday night spiritually rather than in some other form...But if the hoopla around the millennium makes us pause about the significance of time, how quickly it flies, and its value and sacredness, then it might possibly serve a useful purpose."