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  • Writer's pictureharu

Birthday Paradox and #BuildBackHappier 2022

I celebrated my birthday today at lunch with a friend’s lovely daughter because we have the same birthdate. Apparently there’s a thing called the birthday paradox that says, in a group of 23, there is a 50% chance that two people will share a birthday.  (23x22)/2 = 253 pairs, which is more than 50% of 365 days/2 = 182.5, or half the number of days in a year.

Birthdays also make me think of my maternal grandmother who was born on December 31st. Before the 50s in Japan, birthdays were collectively celebrated on the 1st of every new year, and on top of that, newborns were already 1 at birth, having acquired a year in utero. This meant that my grandmother was registered as 2 years old when she was actually only 1 day old. No wonder she had such a difficult time at school with classmates 2 years older than her!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day here in London today, and so very apt for the Spring Equinox celebrations marked for this Sunday, the 20th of March. This is also the Japanese season of (O)Higan (March 18th to 24th) that symbolizes winter’s transition into spring. Higan 彼岸means the other shore, which means the attainment of nirvana but we can also see it in terms of acknowledging death and leaving behind the past to celebrate the coming days. Fit that this year’s theme of the International Day of Happiness is #BuildBackHappier then, which also takes place this Sunday.

So happy to be able to move forward into this Spring Equinox. Today is also our little community’s 1-year anniversary! Thank you for checking into from time to time, and happy building and huffing and puffing to all spring pigs and wolves!

*A photo of my 1-year old cherry blossom tree, a gift from my family for my birthday last year. I’m not a green thumb but the shoots look promising! Fingers crossed!

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