Showing posts with label Gregorian Calendar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gregorian Calendar. Show all posts

Dec 30, 2016

Saudi Calendar Change

As we look forward to a new year, thought I would pass along some calendar info. Saudi Arabia adopted the lunar Islamic calendar when it was founded in 1932. In October 2016, that all changed. Saudi Arabia moved from the lunar based Hijri calendar, which starts with the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, and adopted the standard Gregorian calendar as a leap into modernity and as a basis for paying civil servants.

Government employees complained they would have to work an extra 11 days each year, because the Islamic lunar calendar is 11 days shorter than the 365-day solar year.

There are other calendars still in use around the world.  It is 1395 in Iran, 2628 in Kurdistan, and 5776 in Israel’s Knesset, 2559 in Thailand, and year 28 (of the Heisei era) in Japan.

May 31, 2013

Gregorian Calendar Exception

Most of the world uses the Gregorian Calendar. We are currently in the year 2013. Even China also follows this calendar, although it also celebrates its own New year.

North Korea uses the names of months we are familiar with, but the calendar year one begins in 1912 rather than two thousand years ago. That year, 1912 was the birth of former North Korea despot Kim Il-sung (grandfather of Kim Jong-un). Three years after Kim Il-sung’s death, the nation promulgated the new Juche calendar after the state’s official ideology of the same name.

It is a government allusion to the idea of Kim Il-sung as god. When Kim Il-sung died, his son and successor, Kim Jong-il redid the calendar to imply that his father was divine. In September 1998, the North Korean constitution deemed Kim Il-sung the “Eternal President of the Republic.” Nice to have a family tradition that changes the calendar for an entire nation.

Jan 21, 2012

Alaska and Calendars

Speaking of days and dates, did you know that Alaska was the last state to adopt our current, Gregorian calendar? Many think our calendar has been around forever, but it is not that old.

In Alaska, the change took place when Friday, 6 October 1867 was followed again by Friday, 18 October after the US purchase of Alaska from Russia. Eleven days were skipped, and the day of the week was repeated on successive days, because the International Date Line was shifted from Alaska's eastern to western boundary along with the change to the Gregorian calendar.

In Russia the Gregorian calendar was accepted Wednesday, 31 January 1918, followed by Thursday, 14 February 1918, thus dropping 13 days from the calendar.

The last country of Eastern Orthodox Europe to adopt the Gregorian calendar was Greece on Thursday, 1 March 1923, which followed Wednesday, 15 February 1923. Korea adopted the Gregorian calendar on 1 January 1895. China finally agreed to use the Gregorian calendar 1 January 1929 (Yes, only eighty three years ago).

Many religious sects and countries still use other official calendars, but have unofficially adopted the Gregorian calendar for convenience of doing business. Kind of makes one question the exact dates in many history books. . .

Oct 15, 2010

Last Week - Lost Week

If we lived in the 1500s, we would have skipped this past week. That is when the  calendars changed from Julian to Gregorian. The ten days between Oct. 4 and Oct. 15, 1582 had been declared out of existence by the pope.

By the mid-1570s, the Julian Calendar established in 45 B.C. was 10 days behind the real seasons of the year. The spring equinox was actually occurring about March 12 and Easter was falling too late in spring. All this happened because the Earth year is about 11 minutes short of the 365¼ days set by Julius Caesar. It’s really 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds. If the drift kept up, Easter would eventually have been observed in the summer, and Christmas in the spring.

Pope Gregory XIII appointed a commission to tweak the Julian Calendar. Under the leadership of physician Aloysius Lilius and Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius, the commission consulted with scientists and clergy. After wrestling with various ideas for half a decade, the commission proposed eliminating three leap years in every 400 (years ending in 00, unless they are divisible by 400).

That would prevent further creep of the calendar against the seasons (except for a minuscule under-correction). But resetting the calendar so the equinox would come in late March needed a more drastic solution: 10 days would have to be wiped out of existence.

The commission sent its report to the pope Sept. 14, 1580. He issued a papal bull (formal proclamation issued by the pope, usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla (seal)) on Feb. 24, 1582, declaring that the new calendar would go into force in October (when there were few holy days), and that 10 days would be skipped. The day after Oct. 4 would be called Oct. 15.

Only Italy, Spain and Portugal were fully ready by October.

Everyone’s birthday moved to a calendar date 10 days later, too, so 365 days would pass between one birthday and the next. Rents, interest, and wages had to be recalculated for a month that had only 21 days.

Most of Catholic Europe adopted the new, Gregorian calendar by 1584, but the old Julian calendar held on until 1752 in Britain and its colonies, and through 1918 in Russia, which used to celebrate its own October Revolution, in November. My, how time flies.