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In the Year of the Ox


The first day of the Chinese Year of the Ox falls on January 26th, 2009, i. e. today. More people in Mallorca than ever will celebrate the festivities, if one is to believe the official statistics. According to the 2008 census, some 3,587 Asian people lived in the Balearic islands, the majority of which here in Mallorca.

The Chinese culture follows the Lunar calendar, as do Muslims. But according to the Arabic lunar calendar the New Year started one moon ago, on December 29th (in Western speak). The two cultures, albeit united in the moon, beg to differ in calendar terms, though. As you can gather from my photo, the Islamic calendar today marks the 29th day of the month of Muharram in the year 1430 of their Hijri calendar. And one more difference: whilst the Chinese celebrate New Year joyfully over a period of 15 days, Muslims do not give much attention to the changeover from one year to another. With six daily prayers (five obligatory ones, plus – at least – one voluntary one), followers of All’ah seem to favour praying over partying, any time of the year.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 19th, 2009. The time was 15:20:32.

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