A millennium is:
- a period of 1,000 years
- the time when one period of 1,000 years ends and another begins
A lot of people around the world celebrated the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000. This was a special occasion because it was considered to be:
- - the start of a new YEAR
- the start of a new DECADE (10 years)
- the start of a new CENTURY (100 years)
- the start of a new MILLENNIUM (1000 years)
- - the first century ran from the year 1 to the year 100
- the last century ran from 1901 to 2000
- the present century runs from 2001 to 2100
- the next century will run from 2101 to 2200
- - the start of Chinese year 4698
- the start of Islamic year 1421
- the start of Jewish year 5761
The millennium officially started on 1 January 2001.
Where did the Millennium start?
The millennium started in Greenwich (near London, England). This is because in 1884 at an International conference in Washington, DC, USA it was agreed to have a Universal Day. The day begins at the Prime Meridian of the World (Zero Longitude). This is the Greenwich Meridian, an imaginary line from North Pole to South Pole running through the telescope at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Consequently every day starts in Greenwich, including 1 January.
Where was the first sunrise of the Millennium?
A lot of countries said they had the first sunrise of the millennium. But if you had really wanted to see the first sunrise you would have had to go to Antarctica.