As with all cultures, we find different measuring systems a bit puzzling. The U.S.A. did not adopt our present calendar system easily. It took decades before everyone got on the same page. During my own life time, driving through Indiana on my way to Ft. Riley, KS, the next town ahead often was on a different time than the town I just went through (no Interstates then). Americans have always been slow to take seriously others’ cultural differences, both among ourselves, and internationally. We are pretty much homebodies. Then, too, so are most cultures and nations. Human nature, I guess.
Here is about the most ancient calendar in the world, rivaled only by some from India. Here, also, is a bit of cuneiform wishing you a happy new year (with translation).
(AINA) — March 21, 2014 marked the beginning of the 6764th Assyrian year. The celebration of the new year is called the Akitu festival by Assyrians, and it goes back to antiquity. It was adopted by the various cultures that lived contemporaneously with Assyrians and by those that succeeded them. The Kurds and Iranians adopted the festival and call it Nowrooz.
The Akitu festival is a 12 day celebration. In the old Assyrian Calendar the Assyrian year (April 1st) began on the Vernal Equinox, which falls on March 21 in the Gregorian Calendar. The first month of the Assyrian year is April (Neesan). To align with the Gregorian calendar, contemporary Assyrians mark April first as the beginning of the new year.