As a child I was always confused, yet fascinated by the simultaneous use of two calendars in Taiwan. I didn’t understand why my relatives would do the extra work of keeping track of two dates. It’s hard enough to keep track of one! At the same time, I liked the idea of celebrating two birthdays!
As an adult, I now understand the fundamental difference that in the West a calendar was created using the movement of the sun and in the East a calendar was created using the movement of the moon. Through centuries of western colonization, the western calendar has now become our global economic calendar.
The preserving and maintaining of two calendars, however, is a practice of resistance. Although the western calendar may rule the day to day, the lunar calendar is used for cultural remembrances and celebrations. The lunar calendar is a reminder that there is another rhythm of life passed down through the generations; there is an alternative way of being not centered on the West. It is a rhythm that connects us to the rhythm of our ancestors.