Home Travel GuidesTaiwan Calendar System – What’s wrong with my Orange Juice?
Taiwan Calendar System – What’s wrong with my Orange Juice?

Taiwan Calendar System – What’s wrong with my Orange Juice?

You might notice something weird when buying food in Taiwan. A lot of stuff expired 11 years ago! Check out the orange juice I bought on the picture – the expiration day states 97 03 01. Nope, there’s nothing wrong with this orange juice. Some stuff in the convenience store show the year “97” and some show the correct year (2008). But what’s with the “best consumed before 1997″ thing? Well, it’s not really 1997… It’s not 1997 AD – Christians, and most of the world, follow the AD format since it’s how old Jesus Christ would be if he lived up to this day. It’s 97. The year 97.

Ok, so what’s with the year 97? Someone (or something) was born 97 years
ago and he (or it) was special? Yes, to the Taiwanese (and Chinese) people, the answer is YES. On October 10, 1911, there was this WuChang Uprising in China which eventually led to the end of the Qing Dynasty and the “Birth” of the Republic of China. This “10/10” or Double Ten Day is a holiday (wooohooo!) and is called National Celebration Day ???. Going back to the story, a couple of months later after the uprising,they have set January 1, 1912 as the First Year of the Republic. And so, the year 2008 is the 97th year of the Republic.

So anyway, for example, the next time you buy orange juice, or milk, or any stuff with a weird year, confirm it by adding 1,911. 97 + 1911 = 2008! The year would look more weird on 2011, the expiration date on my juice would be 100 03 01, it would not look like a date at all!

Whew! The history stuff made me thirsty, let’s drink that orange juice!