Sometimes you might hear someone say that they’ve done something or known someone for a decade.
If you’re not familiar with that term, then you may be unsure what they mean.
Here’s what you need to know about what a decade means and other similar terms.
How Long Is A Decade?
A decade is a period of 10 years.
The name comes from the Greek word “deka.”
Deka or deca means a group of 10.
You can use the word decade to describe anything that has occurred for a span of 10 years.
What Is A Span Of 20 Years Called?
While a decade may describe a period of 10 years, there’s a different term to describe a period of 20 years.
It isn’t a double decade.
Instead, people use the term vicennial.
Vicennial is a period of 20 years.
What Is A Span Of 100 Years Called?
The term changes again when you’re describing 100 years.
When you want to describe a period of 100 years, you don’t use the word “decade” to describe it.
A span of 100 years is called a centennial.
What Is A Span Of 1,000 Years Called?
The term centennial only describes a period of 100 years.
If 1,000 years pass, then you may wonder how to describe that period.
A millennium is what you call a period of 1,000 years.
That’s why the generation that was born around the year 2000 has been referred to as “Millennials.”
How Do You Measure A Year?
Considering that a decade is a period of 10 years, you may wonder how a year is even calculated.
It took humans some time to perfect how long a year should last.
Some even argue to this day about changing the calendar to better match the course of a year.
Humans currently measure a year by the time it takes for the Earth to complete a full rotation around the sun.
Generally, the Earth takes 365 days to do a full rotation around the sun.
Since it takes 365 days, humans say that a year is 365 days.
What Are Some Ways People Celebrate Decades?
Since a decade encompasses a period of 10 years, this means that a decade is an important milestone for some—be it a birthday, a work anniversary, or something else momentous.
A decade is both relative and finite.
For example, calendar years are often clustered together in groups of 10s.
Each decade has its own name and significant changes occurred within it.
Yet, decades are also relative.
You may have started working at a particular company 10 years ago, but someone else may have only worked there for five years so your anniversary is not important to them.
As such, there are several different ways that people celebrate decade milestones.
Here are some of those ways.
1. A New Calendar Decade
One of the most common decade milestones that people celebrate is when a new period of 10 years begins.
For example, the year 2020 marked the start of a new decade.
While there wasn’t much of a celebration thanks to the pandemic that was occurring, decades past have been a major cause for celebration.
When 1999 switched to 2000, for example, there was a lot of celebration over entering the new millennium.
There was also a lot of fear with the unknowns of Y2K and concerns over computers crashing.
Nothing occurred, of course, and the world charged into the Internet age.
Most of these decade celebrations occur on New Year’s Eve.
People gather together to stay awake until midnight to bring in the new year.
When the decade changes, some people might splurge a bit more.
One of the most famous places to be for the NYE countdown is in New York City.
The change from one decade to the next usually results in a pretty big party.
Another milestone that often gets measured in decades is your age.
There are a few birthdays that are quite significant.
18 is a big one since you become a legal adult.
21 is another big birthday since you’re able to start legally drinking.
After that, however, the importance then shifts to each decade.
Turning 30 is sometimes a big deal because it signifies the end of young adulthood.
Another big decade of importance is when you turn 50.
Many consider 50 to be the middle point of your life.
A lot of people will throw parties to celebrate this milestone in their life.
Turning 70 is another milestone as many people usually retire at or just before this age.
It tends to symbolize the end of your working career and a new life as a retired senior instead.
If you make it to 100 years old, then you’re not only celebrating another decade of life.
You’re also celebrating having lived for a century.
Not everyone lives that long.
Birthdays are a big deal for some people.
They help mark the passing of time.
Each new decade that you enter usually comes with its share of highs and lows.
Age is one of the ways that decades get recognized and celebrated.
3. Marriage Or Anniversaries
Another big celebration that is often marked by the decade is a marriage anniversary or a friendship anniversary.
While you likely celebrate your wedding anniversary every year, there are a few times in your life when it’s more special.
An example is when you’re celebrating a new decade beginning.
Anniversary gifts can trace their roots back to Roman times.
Husbands would give their wives special gifts when they reached 25 years of marriage and 50 years of marriage.
In modern times, couples give one another certain gifts for each anniversary.
For a first anniversary, the suggested gift is “paper.”
For the “paper” year, a traditional gift is a clock or a special card.
In terms of decades, each decade celebrated together makes the anniversary more important and special.
After all, in a world where divorce rates are high, having a lasting marriage is something special.
The 10th anniversary is the year of tin.
It’s common for spouses to get one another gifts that include a diamond.
That’s why some people also call it a diamond anniversary, although that isn’t technically true.
That’s a name for another anniversary year.
The 20th anniversary is the “china” anniversary.
In the past, people would gift their spouses fine cutlery and china.
China isn’t as popular today as it used to be.
As such, most spouses give one another a gift that is made of platinum instead.
A 50th wedding anniversary is the “gold” anniversary.
For this milestone, spouses get one another gifts that include gold.
It’s an extra special anniversary.
The longest official anniversary is 80 years.
It is the “oak” anniversary.
It’s not uncommon for spouses to get one another something made from oak.
Wedding anniversaries or even anniversaries shared with friends are something that people tend to measure and celebrate by the decade.
People also celebrate homeownership by the decade.
It isn’t easy owning a house.
Not only does it cost a lot of money, but you have to keep it up and take care of it.
Otherwise, the house can start to deteriorate around you.
As such, homeowners take a lot of pride in how long they’ve owned a home.
This is especially true after paying off the mortgage.
Once homeowners pay off the mortgage of their home, the home is completely theirs.
They might start to celebrate each decade spent in the house.
That might mean that they renovate the house at certain intervals or simply throw a party.
People sometimes celebrate homeownership by the decade.
5. Professional Career
A final thing that people celebrate with each passing decade is their professional career.
Professionals who choose a company and stick with it may take a lot of pride in how long they’ve worked for the company.
They might celebrate how far they’ve come in the past decades.
For example, if they started as an entry-level worker and then worked up the ranks to become a manager or supervisor, then they might celebrate that.
Sometimes, certain businesses will also celebrate employees who have stayed with them for several decades.
They might give that employee a bonus, some funds for retirement, or some other reward.
Sometimes professionals will also use their multi-decade tenure in a career to describe how long they’ve been doing it.
For example, someone might say that they’ve been practicing medicine for three decades.
If you are employed, you’ll likely hear coworkers refer to their career length in decades as well as see some employees and employers celebrate milestones.
What Should You Do Every 10 Years?
Since a decade is a period of 10 years, it helps to know what certain things you should do at the start of each decade.
This can help ensure you start the new decade strong.
Here are a few things you should do every 10 years.
1. Change Your Mattress
Getting enough sleep is always important.
A vital part of getting good sleep is having a supportive mattress.
The average lifespan of a mattress is around 10 years.
For cheaper brands, it may be even shorter than that.
Mattresses aren’t always cheap.
Because of that, you’ll want to start saving for a new one as soon as you feel your current mattress declining.
By refreshing your mattress occasionally, you can ensure that your body continues to get the support that it needs to rest well.
As you grow older, getting the right amount of sleep is even more important.
Regularly changing your mattress every 10 years ensures you’re doing everything you can to give yourself a proper night of sleep.
In addition, mattresses can start to get moldy.
This is especially true if you don’t elevate your mattress up off the floor.
When you sweat during your sleep, it soaks into the mattress.
Getting a new mattress every 10 years ensures that you also remain healthy.
The last thing you want to do is breathe in that mold while you sleep.
2. Inspect The Roof And Foundation Of Your Home
Although you may not need roof repairs or replacements, it’s always a good idea to have a professional check your roof every decade.
At the very least, you’ll be aware of any potential problem areas that you may need to deal with down the line.
The same goes for the foundation of your home.
In most cases, it shouldn’t be a problem.
However, if you end up with water damage or a termite infestation, then it’s worth looking into.
A quick check of some important aspects of your home every 10 years can ensure you stay on top of your repairs.
3. Consider A Career Change
A final thing to consider at the start of a new decade is a career change.
It’s a good time to assess your skills and the amount of pay you’ve been receiving.
If you haven’t received a pay raise in 10 years, then it may be time to speak with your boss.
Otherwise, you should consider changing your career.
Not only might this make you feel more passionate about your career, but it also might give you an opportunity to learn new things and skills.
The turn of another decade is a good time to look around and see if there’s something better out there.
A decade is a period of 10 years.
Since a lot can happen in a period of 10 years, many people tend to celebrate significant milestones whenever 10 years pass.
At the beginning of a new decade, however, there are a few things you should consider doing to start the new decade off the right way.