gmac, it really depends on whose calendar you are using.
A natural calendar typically does not have years, only cycles. A Roman calendar, such as the one we use (Gregorian), the date is 3/23/2008.
The Western world has gone through multiple calendars in the past few thousand years. The main ones have been the Gregorian and Julian.
There's the Mayan, Aztec, Islamic, Hebrew, Egyptian, Coptic, Japanese, etc etc.
Here's a Calendar Converter
For your own reference, today's Mayan long count calendar date (one of my favorites) is 126.96.36.199.6. The haab (essentially the regular calendar) is
in 14 Cumku and the tzolkin (holy calendar) is 12 Cimi.
One's interpretation of the "date" is based solely on the calendar one uses.
If we were to use solar and lunar cycles, well that's a completely different story.
There's the 13 moon calendar
which is becoming much more widespread.
Decode a date using the lunar calendar
Solar Moon day 17
Year of the White Lunar Wizard
Here is the Mayan calendar picture related to today:
Each day comes with a poem:
kin 34: White Galactic Wizard
I Harmonize in order to Enchant
I seal the Output of Timelessness
With the Galactic tone of Integrity
I am guided by the power of Endlessness
A lot of indigenous cultures still use the moon for their calendars. The sun is not the best way to calculate time as the solar year is not a perfect
However, there are exactly 13 moon cycles in each year with 28 days each. There is one day called the "day out of time." This makes the most sense
and is actually in tune with the natural circadian rhythms of our body and the Earth.