The number 12 is an extra special one for three South Canterbury youngsters today.
Jack Mullany, Samara Moffat and Shae Twaddle will all turn 12 on the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012.
It is the last time for 89 years that a trifecta date will occur.
The trio was quietly excited about the the special day, agreeing unanimously that the best thing about turning 12 was "getting older".
Jack, a year 7 student at Highfield School, was nearly born on the 13th, but managed to arrive shortly before midnight.
For Samara, the number 12 makes regular appearances in her life. She was born just after 12am, this year she was in room 12 at Grantlea Downs School and the street number of her former home was 12. Her auntie from Australia was joining the family today to help celebrate, which made it special, she said.
Shae, an Arowhenua School student, said turning 12 on 12/12/12 made his birthday more special.
THE IMPORTANCE OF 12
The number 12 is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and also in some older religions and belief systems.
There are 12 "Jyotirlingas" (epitome of God Shiva) in Hindu Shaivism. In ancient Greek religion, the 12 Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon.
The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons.
The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The biblical Jacob had 12 sons, who were the progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel, while the New Testament describes 12 apostles of Jesus.
In Orthodox Judaism, 12 signifies the age a girl matures and is celebrated with a "bat mitzvah". There are 12 days of Christmas. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, there are 12 imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Mohammed.
In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has 12 names. Also, there are 12 petals in Anahata (Heart Chakra.) Most calendar systems have 12 months in a year.
The Western zodiac has 12 signs, as does the Chinese zodiac.
The Chinese use a 12-year cycle for time-reckoning, called Earthly Branches. There are 24 hours in a day in all, with 12 hours for a half a day.
The basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by 12.
- © Fairfax NZ News