The Birthday Calendar - a modest proposal for calendar reform

As you may know, the Earth celebrated its six thousandth birthday in the year ordinarily known as 1997 AD. In that year Owen Dunn, Richard Kettlewell, and the author devised a more reasonable and logical calendar to commemorate this event. (While we acknowledge that the more conventional age of billions of years does have the trivial property of being correct, we find it sadly prosaic when compared with Bishop Ussher's fascinating approach.)

Clearly, therefore, we should count years from this auspicious event, making 1997 AD be the year 6000. We suggest "BC" as a convenient abbreviation for this numbering scheme, with little potential for confusion with any existing approach. Hence at the time of writing (2005 AD in the obsolete calendar) it is 6008 BC.

Two of the many annoyances inherent in the current calendar are the wildly varying lengths of the months and the redundant information represented as days of the month and days of the week. We observed immediately that 364 is evenly divisible by 13; it hence seems most straightforward to divide the year into 13 months - four of 29 days, four of 27, and five of 28. The additional month is to be named "Presuary", in accordance with the custom of commemorating Kings. Each month is to be divided into four weeks; we can most simply avoid the aforementioned redundancy by having 3 sets of names for weekdays, with each month employing two sets once each and one set twice, preceded with "First" or "Second". Public holidays are then easily accommodated by having some weeks contain eight days, three of which are weekends or holidays.

The weekdays are as follows, with three-letter abbreviations
"Endless" days Conventional days"Cheese" days Middle days (belong to no month)Notes
PotmosPotMondayMon GloucesterdayGloMiddle DayMid Day The Middle Days are public holidays.
TeleuteTelTuesdayTue LeicesterdayLeiMiddle Day AgainMid Aga
OneirosOniWednesdayWed BriedayBri   
ManiaManThursdayThu GoudayGou   
AponoiaApoFridayFri CheddayChe   First Chedday is a public holiday; Second Chedday, a weekend.
EpithumiaEpiSaturdaySat StildaySti   These are weekends
OlethrosOleSundaySun GorgonzoladayGor  
GaimanGai        A public holiday

The year consists of:

The year consists of 252 working days, 104 weekend days, and nine public holidays - ten in a leap year. This compares very closely with the conventional UK calendar, which has either 252 or 253 working days - sometimes 254 in a leap year. Our year begins with destiny and ends with stilton.

Note that the birthday calendar is considered to start on January the second in the conventional calendar. This ensures that Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day always fall on weekends; First Stilday, Gorgonzoladay, Second Chedday, and Second Stilday in December. Additionally Christmas Eve is First Chedday, December; a public holiday.

Between Second Monday, Presuary (July 4th) and Potmos, March (Feb 28th) the new and old calendars coincide. However, between Teleute, March (either Feb 29th or Mar 1) and the Middle Days (July 3rd) there is a one-day shift in leap years. Of course we recommend you celebrate your birthday on the same day every year in the new calendar, rather than adhering to the confusing system previously in use.

The financial year begins on Middle Day; the first quarter ends on the long weekend of First Chedday, September; the second quarter on Second Stilday, December; and the third quarter on the long weekend of Gaiman, April.

The Earth itself was born on Second Epithumia, October - October 23rd in the conventional reckoning. Be sure to celebrate its birthday, too - which falls on a weekend. We also simplify the process of choosing the date of Easter by declaring it to be the 3-day weekend at the start of April; I expect the Church will welcome this rationalisation of their procedures.

Last of all, here are links to references for the calendar for leap years and non-leap years.


<damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> David Damerell
Last modified: Second Oneiros, January, 6009 BC.