Thursday, March 02, 2006

Profile: the 30x11 Calendar - a calendar that makes sense

March 1 was the 60th day of the year. Why wasn't it the last day of the second month?

That's the question the 30x11 ("Thirty-eleven") calendar asks. The calendar reform proposal seeks to simplify the Gregorian calendar by giving 11 of the 12 months 30 days each. The last month, December, gets 35, keeping the 365-day calendar year we have now. In leap years (which remain the same as now) we get a 36-day December.

The benefit of this idea is simplicity. With 30 days in each month, it would be easy to determine, say, that the 150th day of the year would be the last day of the 5th month - May 30. In fact, for the first half of the calendar year, the last days of the month are the 30th, 60th, 90th, 120th, 150th, and 180th days of the year. Such numbering allows easy access to any day of the year.

Another quirk of the calendar is that each month within a calendar year starts two weekdays after the previous month. If January, for example, would start on a Sunday (as it does in the 2006 Gregorian calendar) then February begins on a Tuesday, March on a Thursday, April on a Saturday and May on a Monday. It's very easy to determine, therefore, that May 30 would be the 150th day of the month and a Tuesday.

Drawbacks are few, and include a "long" December, which would have 35 or 36 days - numbers that are hard to get used to - and the seasons would not begin on the same days they do now, but would drift back about two days on the calendar. That doesn't seem too high of a price to pay, however, for a calendar that is more logical.

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