Calendopaedia - Modern Calendars
There are seven calendars in regular current use around the world. They
are the Gregorian, the Chinese,
the Hebrew, the Islamic, the Persian, the Ethiopian and the Balinese Pawukon.
The Gregorian is used worldwide for business and legal reasons. The others are
sometimes used for religious and sometimes social reasons.
The Chinese calendar is not used in China but is used in various countries of south
east asia, usually with local variations. For example the calendar used in Japan is
a variation of the Chinese one. It is also used socially by ethnic Chinese around the world.
The Hebrew calendar is used, of course, in Israel, as well as by Jews around the
world for their religious observances.
The Islamic calendar is used by Moslems around the world for setting the dates of
The Persian calendar is used in Iran and Afghanistan.
The Ethiopian calendar is used in Ethiopia.
The Balinese Pawukon calendar is used in Bali.
Many individuals and groups have designed other calendars with various advantages
but they now stand very little chance of being adopted. There are several calendars
which have been proposed and are more accurate than the Gregorian calendar, but
it is unlikely that it will ever be displaced.
The following calendars have not gained acceptance but are being proposed and
pushed by different groups and are of interest.
The International Calendar Association proposed a new calendar in 1931. The proposal
is for a year made up of five quintals, each 73 days long. Each quintal consists of 12
weeks of six days plus one extra day. The last day of the week and the extra days are
rest days. This makes the year 365 days long. Leap years are created by adding another
day every fourth year unless the year number is a multiple of 128.
The International Calendar
Auguste Comte's Positivist Calendar has 13 months of 28 days, an intercalary day at the
end of each year, and another at the end of leap years. It is therefore a perennial
calendar, the same every year.
All the months on the Positivist Calendar have four, seven-day weeks beginning on
Monday. So the days of the month always fall on the same weekday. For example, the 10th
is always on Wednesday.
The Positivist Calendar
Comte named his 13 months after saints and heroes in human history, consecrating each
day of the year to historical figures as well. Sunday's saints are distinguished by
major festivals. Dozens of minor saints are substituted in leap years.
Although the Positivist Calendar was first published in 1849, Comte began its reckoning
of years from 1789. Comte's calendar was the model for the "International Fixed
Calendar," promoted by Moses Cotsworth and George Eastman in the early 20th century.
The object of the World Calendar is to create a calendar that is the same every year
but with the minimum impact on the Gregorian calendar. This is done by dividing the
year into quarters, each one having one month of 31 days and two of 30 days. Each
quarter will also have exactly 13 weeks. This gives 364 days so an extra day is added
at the end of the year which has a different name ('Year Day' has been proposed) so that
each year, and indeed each quarter will always start on a Sunday. Leap years follow the
Gregorian rule but are added between the second and third quarters and known as 'Leap
Day' so as not to affect the pattern of starting the quarter on a Sunday.
The World Calendar
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