[uf-discuss] birthday versus birthdate

Scott Reynen scott at randomchaos.com
Tue Jul 31 18:05:58 PDT 2007

On Jul 31, 2007, at 6:11 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:

>>> Actually... AFAIK... your birthday and your date of birth are the  
>>> same
>>> thing.  (And they both have a year.)
>> Not in Korea at least.
> I was writing this in the commuting train without internet access.
>     East Asian age reckoning is a concept that
>     originated in China and is used in East Asian
>     countries. Several East Asian cultures, such as
>     Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, share
>     a traditional way of counting a person's age.
>     Newborns start at one year old, and each passing
>     of a New Year, rather than the birthday, adds one
>     year to the person's age; this results in people
>     usually being between 1-2 years older in Asian
>     reckoning than in the Western version. This
>     system is still widely used in China and is used
>     universally in Korea, with exceptions to the
>     legal system. However, its use is less common in
>     other countries.

I think this just reinforces what Charles said: the anniversary  
celebration of an event is not the same as the event.  In this case,  
birthday anniversaries are celebrated on New Year, but that doesn't  
mean everyone's birthday nor date of birth is New Year.  Similarly,  
in America we often celebrate former Presidents' birthdays on days  
that are not actually their birthdays.  But no one says the birthday  
changes every year; only the celebration changes.


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