Are you ready to get mathematical and make your brain hurt?  Good! Let's begin.

I keep seeing posts on the internet about the end of the decade, next year the 2020's begin, and it's the start of not just a new year, but a new decade. However according to the Farmers' Almanac, that's not correct.  Remember 20 years ago when we were all excited for Y2K, and the new millennium?  Apparently we were all a year off, and technically the new millennium started 1/1/2001 and not 2000. Super weird, right?

Here's why we're all wrong according to the Farmers' Almanac.  For a decade to begin, you have to start with year ending in the number 1 and finish with a year ending in 0.  So we will start a new decade with the year that ends with 1 (2021)  and finish with 10 (2030).

Confused yet?  Hang tight, it gets more complicated. We all celebrated the millennium a year too early, and technically the new millennium started on January 1st, 2001.  The reason is because the first year of the Christian era is 1 A.D.  So the year 2000 was technically only 1,999 years from the first year.  To make this a little less complicated the Farmers' Almanac explains the elevator analogy. I could try and dumb it down, but my brain hurts so  here's what the Farmers' Almanac says:

As an analogy, think of going into a building in which the ground floor is listed not as the first floor, but as the lobby. So the first floor is actually one flight above you.

So if you were to go into an elevator located in the lobby and wanted to go 10-flights up, you would actually end up on the ninth floor (if you were to assume that the lobby as the “zero” floor).

But if you assume the lobby as the “first” floor and went 10-flights up, you would end up on the tenth floor.

In essence, on our calendars, 2021 is the equivalent of a “first-floor lobby,” and after going up ten flights (or years), we’ll arrive at the tenth floor. Or in this case, the year 2030—when that decade ends.

There's also some history about the calendar, and why we have this  confusion thanks to some dudes who were around a whole lot of years ago. I'd do the math, but they were in B.C. and now we're in A.D. and look I have a headache.  But basically, shout out to Dionysius Exiguus and a Northumbrian monk named Bede who didn't account for a year 0 (it's actually pretty interesting, if you want to read about them, and why they've confused us a whole lot of years later, you can do so, here).

So basically, while yes 2020 is the beginning of a year with a 2 instead of a 1 in the third spot, it's technically not the first year of a decade if we actually count the years.  Clear as mud, right?

But hey, if you want to count 2020 as the start of a new decade, more power to you.  I guess I will, since I was born in 1990 so by my life's timeline, it technically will be starting a new decade for me, as I will be turning 30 in 2020, and I was born at age 0 not age 1.  Also, holy crap I'm turning 30 next year...now my stomach hurts.

Anyways, happy new year!

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