A few days ago I was around a table having a hot pot and having a small chat with other friends around the table:
X: How old are you? I was born in 1976 Me: I was born in 1976 as well. Cool year!
a few minutes pass, I realise something:
Me: So, since you were born in 1976, how old are you? X: I'm 30 Me: I thought so. I'm 29 :)
It turns out that in some countries, at the moment you're born you're 1 year old instead of 0: it's just a matter of convention.
And then today it's the first day of 2006. It's also the 95th year since the founding of Republic of China, which is another way of counting years here. The good thing is that if you see that a bottle of milk expires in '95, it means it could still be good.
So, when was Republic of China founded? Of course in 1912, but since when it was founded it was 1 year old, we're now in 95 instead of 94.
Things would be even more interesting if the Lunar Calendar used numbers for the years, but they instead use a "sexagesimal stem-branch cycle" so I cannot say that, according to the lunar calendar, we're still in 2005 until February 29 However, people do have two different birthdays.
And why am I in Taiwan but they count since the founding of Republic of China? I'll tell you if you buy me a glass of wine :)