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What vì A.D. And B.C. Stand for?
What is the Gregorian calendar?
How many different calendars are there?

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Amaan. Amaan Wonders, “What is AD & BC?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Amaan!

What year are we living in? That seems lượt thích an easy question, doesn’t it? But like most things, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Many people would tell you this is the year A.D. 2020. Others might điện thoại tư vấn it the year 2020 C.E. Some would say it’s the year 4718, 1441, or even 5780! It all depends on which of the world’s many calendars you’re reading.

Today, most countries use the Gregorian calendar as their civil calendar. That means it’s used for official purposes, lượt thích government and business. Established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1577, the Gregorian calendar marks years using the abbreviations B.C. And A.D.

What exactly bởi vì B.C. Và A.D. Stand for? B.C. Stands for “Before Christ,” as in Jesus Christ. It indicates the number of years before the birth of Jesus (although Jesus himself was born in 4 B.C.). A.D. Stands for the Latin phrase Anno Domini. That translates lớn “In the year of our Lord.” It’s used khổng lồ mark years after the birth of Jesus.

Considering the Gregorian calendar was created by a pope of the Catholic Church, it makes sense that it tells time according to the birth of Christianity’s main religious figure. But what about all the people in the world who follow other (or no) religions? bởi they still use B.C. & A.D.?

Often, the answer is yes. However, some people use the abbreviations B.C.E. And C.E. Instead. B.C.E. Means “Before the Common Era,” and C.E. Means “Common Era.” They reference the same periods of time as B.C. And A.D. Still, many people feel that B.C.E. & C.E. Are more secular and inclusive ways of telling time.

And, while most countries use the Gregorian calendar as their civil calendar, many still recognize other religious & cultural calendars as well. For instance, the Hebrew calendar, developed in 359 C.E., is a lunisolar calendar used by the nation of Israel & many Jews worldwide. On this calendar, we’re living in the year 5780.

There’s also the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar. It starts in the year 622 C.E., which was when the prophet Muhammed moved khổng lồ Medina. The Islamic calendar uses the abbreviation A.H., which means “year of the Hijra.” This calendar has 354 days, and it’s currently in the year 1441. Because the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, the two will one day be in the same year—in 20784 C.E.!

Have you ever celebrated the Chinese New Year? If so, you know it’s not on January 1. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar & goes back to lớn the 14th Century B.C.E. This calendar also measures time in 60-year cycles. The year 2020 is the year 4718 on the Chinese calendar. It’s the 36th year in the current cycle.

And that’s not all! The Persian calendar is widely used in Afghanistan và Iran. The ancient Hindu calendar has changed lớn become several regional Indian calendars today. Cultural events in these countries often follow the Persian và Indian calendars.

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Of course, many other calendars have fallen almost completely out of use. The Maya calendar is one of the most well-known, but the Roman calendar was also once widely used. And, during the French Revolution, people in France created a calendar that started over with the first year of their revolt. If it were still in use today, this year would be the an 228 de la Révolution!

Do you mark years with B.C. Và A.D.? bởi vì you use B.C.E. Và C.E. Instead? Whatever your preference, it’s fun to learn about other ways of telling time. & of course, the more calendars you learn about, the more holidays you will know about, too!

Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and National Council for the Social Studies.">Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.SL.1

AD or A.D. stands for Anno Domini & is a label for numbering years after Christ was born. BC or B.C. means Before Christ. The year Christ was born is considered AD 1 và the year before that is labeled 1 BC. Historians use a nomenclature with less religious connotation: namely CE/BCE where CE means "Common Era" & BCE stands for Before Common Era. Although the labels used are different, BC và BCE are the same & so are AD and CE. This system of numbering years was invented by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525 and is used in the Julian & Gregorian calendars.

Comparison chart

AD versus BC comparison chart
ADBCStands for Also known as Writing style
Anno Domini (Latin for Year of our Lord) Before Christ
CE (Common Era) BCE (Before Common Era)
AD 2013 45 BC



This special £5 coin was made in 1999, before the turn of the century (from the 20th lớn 21st centuries / AD 1999 - 2000). On one side it marks GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) with the line going through Greenwich.

What is A.D.?

AD stands for Anno Domini, which is Latin for "Year of our Lord," & is used khổng lồ number years in the Julian và Gregorian calendars. AD denotes the calendar era after the birth of Jesus Christ. The traditionally accepted year of Christ"s birth is labeled AD 1 và the year before is 1 BC. This calendaring system was devised in AD 525, but was not widely used until after AD 800. An alternative for AD is CE, which stands for Common Era, Christian Era or Current Era.

What is B.C.?

B.C. Stands for Before Christ, and it means the number of years before the time of Jesus Christ. The use of B.C. Is believed khổng lồ originate with Bede in the 8th century (AD). The Latin version is "ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus" ("the time before the Lord"s true incarnation"), equivalent khổng lồ the English term "before Christ" which was used by Dionysius Exiguus.

Numbering scheme

In the Common Era (CE or AD), the years are numbered in chronological order i.e. The year AD 401 followed the year AD 400. However, in the BC or BCE era, the years are numbered in the reverse order i.e. The year 300 BC followed the year 301 BC.

Did you know?

While AD 1 is when Christ was believed khổng lồ have been born when this system was invented, historians now believe that Christ was actually born between 7 BC và 4 BC.


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