By Rasheed Sobowale
02/02/2020 is not only a special day for some religious group(s) but also for everyone in the world.
The date can be penned in either direction ― backward and forward ― yet will appear the same irrespective of the date format in consideration.
MM/DD/YEAR, DD/MM/YEAR, YEAR/MM/DD, YEAR/DD/MM are the formats a typical date can be written in figure representation and this is usually determined by the part of the world the person writing it resides.
Nigerians prefer the DD/MM/YEAR format although most do not care, so far the person reading it can decipher.
A special day like this was first observed 909 years ago on 11th of November 1111. Yes! The date was written thus; 11/11/1111, anybody re-writing either backward or forward will discover no difference.
Likewise today’s date, 02/02/2020.
The next time a day’s date will feature like this would be in the next 101 years, 03/03/3030.
What is a date like this called?
It is called a “palindrome” day.
The etymology of the word Palindrome can be traced to the Greek word palin which means “again, back” and dromos meaning “running,” according to Dictionary.com.
This translates palindrome to mean “a word of phrase that runs back on itself.”
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Oxford Dictionary describes Palindrome thus; “a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards, e.g. madam or nurses run.”
Double Figure Palindrome
Another significant date analogous to this was the November 11, 2011 date. 11/11/11 was the only double-figure palindromic date so far and the next one is expected in around 100 years, 2011.
However, Nigerians may recall the May 6, 2006 date which caused some stir due to the religious belief of the 666 sign. Remember the shortened date format of the day, 06/06/06 instead of 06/06/2006. But this was in no way a palindrome day because it does not fit in to a standard date format; MM/DD/YEAR, DD/MM/YEAR, YEAR/MM/DD, or YEAR/DD/MM.
Today, Sunday, 02/02/2020 is a special day and date which will not come around again in this century.
After the 3030 palindrome day, people will have to wait another 1,010 years, until April 4, 4040.