An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


How the Chinese and Japanese Count Your Age

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 19:28


I came across this little tidbit while doing some reiki research.

While it is true that in Chinese and Japanese culture a baby is considered to be one on the day of birth, it is not because age is counted from the date of conception. First of all, traditionally we wouldn’t know the date of conception and therefore can’t count from that day. (Yes, I realize doctors can count backwards from whatever stage of pregnancy, but I highly doubt that is an accurate way to determine the date of conception.) Secondly, saying that a baby is “one year old” on the day the baby is born implies a pregnancy term of one year.

Now the real reason why a baby is considered to be one on the day of birth is simply because the Chinese and Japanese do not say the baby is “one year old”. The phrase “year old” implies that a year has passed. The proper phrasing is that the baby is “in her first year of life”. In other words, on the day you were born, you started the first year of your life. So, if you are thirty-one years old, in Chinese you would say you are in your thirty-second year.

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