The Gregorian calendar is the calendar that is used widely across the world today. It consists of 12 months spanning between 28 to 31 days and 52 weeks of 7 days. This calendar is only annual, as it starts on a different day of the week every year. It was originally implemented in 1500s by the Catholic Church to standardize the day that Easter is celebrated on. Interestingly, the Gregorian calendar doesn’t correlate with lunar cycles, despite being founded on the date of Easter, which is determined by the position of the moon.
Some people want to change calendar systems or reform the Gregorian calendar. They cite that the Gregorian calendar needs to be updated every year, it doesn’t correlate to the movement of astronomical bodies, and that it is based in Western culture. Several types of calendars have been proposed to try to amend these short comings.
The Hermetic Lunar Week Calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning that it’s based on the phases of the moon. This calendar’s weeks start on the day after one of the moon’s major phases starts: a new or black moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. This means that weeks can span from 6 to 9 days. Each month begins on the day after a new moon, meaning that there will be either 12 or 13 months a year. The beginning of the new year lands on the day after the new moon closest to the vernal, or spring, equinox. This calendar obviously improves on the issue of using astronomic position to calculate the calendar, but it maintains the issues of having to be renewed annually and brings up the issue of a non-uniform number of days in a week and the number of months in a year.
The Modern calendar is a proposed calendar that would contain 10 months in a year, with 9 of these months having 5 weeks of 8 days. The last month of the year, December will only be one week consisting of 5 days in a common year, or 6 days in a leap year. The new day added to the week would be called “Remday,” short for “Remembrance Day,” and would fall between Friday and Saturday. Remday would be the first day of a three-day weekend, and would stand in for any nationally observed holidays that would usually grant time off. Leap days would also be a holiday period. Each month begins on Sunday the first, and the year begins on Sunday, the first of January. This calendar is very standardized, with the exception of December, and is perennial outside of leap years. Issues with this calendar are that the eight-day week disrupts the religious dogmas of the seven-day week part of several prevalent religions; it doesn’t align with seasons or quarters; and the “loss” of days at the end of the year, since the last day of December will either be Thursday the fifth or Friday the sixth.
The Abysmal calendar is a fixed calendar system of thirteen months of four weeks of seven days. This calendar measures the lunar months. The calendar is also perpetual, which means that calendars printed in this method don’t have to be updated yearly. Months are not named with culturally significant names; they are numbered zero to twelve. This calendar would be an easy transition from the current Gregorian calendar; it also incorporates several aspects of different cultures calendars so it would be more easily applicable on a global scale.
A lot of people are reluctant to embrace calendar reform. We’ve been using the Gregorian calendar in the West for hundreds of years, so why change it now? A change would just be messy and disrupt everything for a few years. Measuring the pros and the cons of transitioning from the Gregorian calendar is just the tip of the iceberg, because a new calendar system would have to be chosen out of the plethora of those suggested already and undoubtedly the many more to be proposed in the years to come.