The word derives from medieval latin kalendarium meaning account book, itself from kalendae, CALENDS, the day when interest on debts became due in the roman calendar.

The Gregorian Calendar was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
No century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400, e.g. 1600, 2000.
A leap second has been added to the national time scale at midnight 31 December 1995. The "Greenwich" time signal to mark the transition between 1995 and 1996 will contain six short pips instead of the usual five before the start of the long pip which marks the hour. The decision to change the time was made by Paris's International Earth Rotation Services. The end 1995 leap second will be the 29th since Coordinated Universal Time began in 1972.

1996 is The Year of The Rat according to Chinese Astrology. Celebrations of the lunar new year are from February 19 to 21 1996.

The cycle of years commencing in 1996 is :-

More information on The Calendar can be found here

More information on Chinese Astrology can be found here.

Information on the Zodiac can be found here

Information on Birthstones can be found here.



January 31 Tishri 30
February 28 Heshvan 29
in leap years 29 or 30
March 31 Kislev 29
or 30
April 30 Tebet 29
May 31 Shebat 30
June 30 Adar 29
or 30
July 31 Nisan (Note 3) 30
August 31 Iyar 29
September 30 Sivan 30
October 31 Tammuz 29
November 30 Ab 30
December 31 Elul 29
Muharram (Note 4) Chait (7 Note 6) (March-April)
in A.H. 1391 began February 27, 1971 30
Safar 29 Baisakh (April-May)
Rabi I 30 Jeth (May-June)
Rabi II 29 Asarh (June-July)
Jumada I 30 Sawan (July-August)
Jumada II 29 Bhadon (August-September
Rajab 30 Ason (September-October)
Shaban 29 Kartik (October-November)
Ramadan 30 Aghan (November-December)
Shawwal 29 Pus (December-January)
Dhul-Qadah 30 Magh (January-February)
Dhul-Hijja 29 Phagun (February-March)
in leap years 30

Note 1. The equinoxes occur on March 21 and September 23, the solstices on June 22 and December 22.

Note 2. In leap years Adar is followed by Veadar or Adar Sheni, an intercalary month of 29 days.

Note 3. Anciently called Abib; the first month of the postexilic calendar; sometimes called the first month of the ecclesiastical year.

Note 4. Retrogresses through the seasons; the Muhammadan year is lunar and each month begins at the approximate new moon; the year 1 A.H. began on Friday, July 16, A.D. 622.

Note 5. An extra month is inserted after every month in which two new moons occur (once in three years). The intercalary month has the name of the one that precedes it.

Note 6. Baisakh is sometimes considered the first month of the Hindu year.

Equinox - The time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day all over the earth of equal length.

Solstice - Either of the two times in the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator and apparently does not move north or south, called in the southern hemisphere the winter solstice and the summer solstice.



Old English - sunnandaeg. The first day of the week dedicated to the sun.


Anglo Saxon - Monandaeg
The second day of the week.
The day of the moon.


The third day of the week


The fourth day of the week.
Wodenís day or Odinís Day
The Persians regarded it highly because the moon was created on the fourth day.


The fifth day of the week.
French - Jeudi Joveís Day.
The day of the god THOR.
Both Jupiter(Jove) and Thor were gods of thunder.
Thursday was sometimes called Thunderday

The sixth day of the week.
Ancient Rome -dies Veneris, day of venus. Friday was regarded by the Norse as the luckiest day of the week, when weddings took place, but was regarded by christians as unlucky because it was the day of the crucifixion.

Anglo Saxon -Saeternes daeg, after the latin, Saturni dies, the day of Saturn.

Calendar. The word comes from Medieval Latin kalendarium, account book, itself from Kalendae, CALENDS, the day when interest on debts became due in the ROMAN CALENDAR.

Gregorian. Gregorian calendar. A modification of the JULIAN CALENDAR, also called the New Style, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Gregorian year. The civil year according to the correction introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The equinox, which occurred on 25 March in the time of Julius Caesar, fell on 11 March in the year 1582. This was because the Julian calculation of 365 1/4 days to a year was 11 minutes 14 seconds too long. Gregory suppressed 10 days by altering 5 October to 15 October, thus making the equinox fall on 21 October 1583. Further simple arrangements prevented the recurrence of a similar error in the future. The change was soon adopted by most Roman Catholic countries, but the Protestant countries did not accept it until much later. The New Style was not adopted by England and Scotland until 1752. At the same time the beginning of the civil or legal year was altered from LADY DAY (25 March) to 1 January, a change adopted in Scotland in 1600. Sweden adopted the New Style calendar in 1753, Japan in 1873, China in 1912, Russia in 1918 and Greece in 1923. The GREGORIAN CALENDAR differs from the JULIAN CALENDAR in that no century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400, e.g. 1600 and 2000.

Newgate Calendar. A biographical record of the more notorius criminals confined at Newgate. It was begun in 1773 and continued at intervals for many years. In 1824-8 Andrew Knapp and William Baldwin published, in 4 volumes, The Newgate Calendar, compromising Memoirs of Notorius Characters, partly compiled by George Borrow, and in 1886, C. Pelham published his Chronicles of Crime or the New Newgate Calendar (2 volumes). Another such calendar was published in 1969. The term is often used as a comprehensive expression embracing crime of every sort.

Jewish calendar. This dates from the Creation, fixed at 3761 ac, and consists of 12 months of 29 and 30 days alternately, with an additional month of 30 days interposed in embolismic (intercalary) years to prevent any great divergence from the months of the solar year. The 3rd, 6th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th years of the METONIC CYCLE are embolismic years. The names of the months are: Nisan, Iyyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishri, Marcheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat and Adar.

Julian calendar. The calendar instituted by Julius CAESAR in 46 BC, which was in general use in western Europe until the introduction of the GREGORIAN CALENDAR in 1582 and was still used in England until 1752 and until 1918 in Russia. To allow for the odd quarter of a day, Caesar ordained that every fourth year should contain 366 days, the additional day being introduced after the 6th before the CALENDS of March, i.e. 24 February. Caesar also divided the months into the number of days they at present contain. It is now called OLD STYLE.

Muslim calendar. A calendar used in Islamic countries, which dates from 16 July 622, the day of the HEGIRA. It consists of 12 lunar months of 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes each. As a result the Muslim year consists of only 354 or 355 days. A cycle is 30 years. The names of the months are: Muharran, Safar, Rabi, I, Rabi II, Jamada I, Jumada II, Rajab, Shaaban, RAMADAN, Shawwal, Dhul-Qada, Dhul-Hijjah.

Roman calendar. The calendar of ancient Rome. It originally consisted of 10 months and had a special extra month intercalated between 23 and 24 February. It was superseded by the JULIAN CALENDAR in 45 BC.

Give us back our eleven days. When England adopted the GREGORIAN CALENDAR (by Chesterfields Act of 1751) in place of the JULIAN CALENDAR, eleven days were dropped, 2 September 1752 being followed by 14 September. Many people thought that they were being cheated out of eleven days and also eleven days pay. Hence the popular cry: Give us back our eleven days!

Ides. In the ancient ROMAN CALENDAR the 15th day of March, May, July and October and the 13th day of all the other months. The day always fell eight days after the NONES.

Nones. In the ancient ROMAN CALENDAR the ninth (Latin nonus) day before IDES, and in the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, the office for the ninth hour after sunrise, i.e. between 12 noon and 3 pm.

Year (connected with Greek horos, season, and Latin hora, hour). The period of time occupied by the revolution of the earth round the sun.
The astronomical, equinoctial, natural, solar or tropical year is the time taken by the sun in returning to the same equinox, in mean length, 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds.
The astral or sidereal year is the time in which the sun returns from a given star to the same star again: 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and 9.6 seconds.
The Platonic, great or perfect year (Annus magnus), is a great cycle of years (estimated by early Greek astronomers at about 26,000 years) at the end of which all the heavenly bodies were imagined to return to the same places as they occupied at the Creation.

Anno Domini (Latin, in the year of our Lord.) This system of dating from the Nativity of Christ was introduced by the monk Dionysius Exiguus, who lived in the first half of the 6th century. Anno Domini is also used colloquially as a synonym for old age, as: He is beginning to feel the effects of Anno Domini. The phrase is invariably abbreviated AD in dates.

Annus, Annus horribilis (Latin, horrible year.) Any disastrous or unpleasant year. Such for the Royal Family was 1992, which saw the divorce of the Princess Royal, the separation of the Duke and Duchess of York, newspaper photographs of the latter topless, and a fearful fire at Windsor Castle. The Queen used the phrase in a speech to guests at a banquet in the Guildhall that year.

Annus luctus (Latin, year of mourning.) The period during which a widow is supposed to remain unmarried. If she marries within about nine months from the death of her husband and a child is born, a doubt might arise as to its paternity.

Annus mirabilis (Latin, wonderful year.) Such a year was 1666, memorable for the GREAT FIRE OF LONDON and the successes of English arms over the Dutch, commemorated in Drydens poem titled Annus Mirabilis (1667).

Regnal year. The year beginning with a monarchs accession. In Great Britain Acts of Parliament are still referred to by the regnal year in which they were passed. Thus the Local Government Act 1929, is also dated 19 Geo 5, the 19th year of the reign of George V.

Sabbath (Hebrew, shabath to rest.) Properly, the seventh day of the week, enjoined on the ancient Hebrews by the fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) as a day of rest and worship. The Christian SUNDAY, the Lordís Day, the first day of the week, is often inaccurately referred to as the Sabbath. For Muslims, FRIDAY is the weekly day of rest.

Sabbatarians. Those who observe the day of rest with excessive strictness, a peculiar feature of English and Scottish Puritanism enforced during the period of the COMMONWEALTH when sport and recreation were forbidden. Some relaxation occurred after the RESTORATION, but the Lordís Day Observance Act of 1782 closed on a Sunday all places of entertainment where an admission fee was charged. A Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, empowered local authorities to license the Sunday opening of cinemas and musical entertainments, and the opening of museums and the like was permitted. The Bill was opposed by the Lords Day Observance Society. More recently, the same Society has opposed Sunday trading and the increased opening of shops and stores on Sunday.

Sabbath Days journey. The journey so mentioned in Acts 1:12 was not, with the Jews, to exceed the distance between the ark and the extreme end of the camp. This was 2000 cubits, about 1000 yards (914m). It arose from the injunction (Exodus 16:29) against journeying on the Sabbath with that (Joshua 3:4) providing for a distance of 2000 cubits between the ark and the people when they travelled in the wilderness. As their tents were this distance from the ark, it was held that they might properly travel this distance, since the injunction could not have been intended to prevent their attendance at worship.

Sabbatical year. One year in seven, when the land, according to Mosaic law, was to lie fallow (Exodus 23:10, Leviticus 25: 2-7, Deuteronomy 15: 1-11). The term is used in universities and the academic world generally for a specified period of freedom from duties, during which time a professor or lecturer is released to study or travel.

Hajj (Arabic, pilgrimage.) The pilgrimage to the KAABA, which every Muslim is obliged to make at least once before death. Those who neglect to do so might as well die Jews or Christians. The pilgrimage begins on the 7th day of the 12th month of the year, Dhu al-Hijjah, and ends on the 12th day. Until comparatively recent times none but a Muslim could make this pilgrimage except at risk of life, and the Hajj was performed only by Johann Burckhardt (1784-1817), Richard Burton (1821-90) and a few other travellers who disguised themselves as Muslims.

Hajji. A Muslim who has made the HAJJ and who is therefore entitled to wear a green turban.

Various Sources were consulted for the above information including Websters Dictionary, Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.