Happy New Year: Iranian-Calendar Identity Crisis

Happy New Year! That’s assuming, of course, that you follow the Gregorian calendar, which has us in the year 2008 just a few hours from now. If you’re living in the West, custom dictates that you’ll be drinking champagne and wearing a funny hat tonight, pretending you know the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne as you ring in (or is that sing in?) the new year. But Azad, the man behind the photo blog Life Goes on in Tehran (here’s our interview with him) just updated with photos from the last month, with a reminder that Iran’s on a totally different calendar: the calendar in Iran (and Afghanistan), is actually a solar one called the Jalaali calendar, so our new year (aka, Norooz) is in the spring.

If you were raised outside of Iran, it gets a little tricky to remember corresponding Iranian dates for the Gregorian calendar (and vice-versa). One of Azad’s captions this month helpfully points readers to a calendar converter from the Iran Chamber Society, which notes that today, 12/31/07, is actually the tenth of Dey, 1386, in Iran… or business as usual. There’s also a great Khayam calendar here. Do you have any tips for quick, in-your-head date conversion? Please leave them in the comments below.

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