A QUATERNARY METRIC CALENDAR
The day that a life partner, a parent or child,
a friend, or someone else one has loved or known well, dies or
is cremated or buried, is a special day. Yet, it is a personal
special day, that is, a day which is different from all other
days for a particular person or group of people. Such a day must
not be confused with a day which is special for suprapersonal
reasons. Every planet revolving around the Sun or a sun, and
rotating on its own axis has such suprapersonal special days.
On Earth a year is the period of about 365¼ solar days
required for one revolution around the Sun. This year has two
equinoxes (when the Sun is said to cross the equator) and two
solstices (when the Sun's distance from the equator is greatest
and it returns). During the equinoxes day and night are of equal
length everywhere on Earth; during the solstices the difference
between the length of the day and that of the night is maximal.
Equinoxes and solstices thus divide the solar year in four equal
parts, that is, quarters. Each quarter starts on what must
naturally be called "a Sunday", that is, an equinoctial or
solstitial quarter day.
Custodians of rather lunatic, ancient calendars may want us
to believe that an equinox or solstice need not fall on a
'Sunday' at all, but could fall on a Monday or other day of the
week, and that it even need not fall on the same date every
year. They then refer to a collection of archaic calendars which
are solar, lunar or some mixture of the two, and in which what is called
"New Year's Day" does not have any connection with nature whatsoever.
In these calendars the solar year is divided into twelve months of 28, 29,
30 or 31 days without any relationship between the day of the month and the
day of the week. The one most widely used in the past (and for the early
reader up to the present) is a calendar which was introduced by an imperial
government and later altered one time by the duce of a then-powerful,
'national transnational' temple organization.
Most names of the months of the
religious-imperial calendar in question are
either of an
exclusivist (imperialist) or of a
And those which are meant to simply refer to the ordinal number of the
month are wrong (like September, that is Seventh Month, for
the ninth month).
Needless to say that not only the quarter days, but also the
first day of the year and of each month can fall on any day of
the week according to this religious-imperial calendar, and so can every
other day of the month. Those who are glad to use such a crackpot
calendar and who are willing to defend this historically deformed freak of
culture for perpetuity may still label it "a system", just as they used to
call, or still call, the collection of gallons, stones, miles and inches
"a system". Unfortunately, since such obsolete calendars (and units of
measurement) cannot be taken seriously, apart from the fact that
they are not, and have never been in universal use, we must
first devote some time to the method for determining the dates
of the observance of special days.
The nearest integer to 365¼ is 365; the nearest integer that has
nontrivial positive divisors divisible by 4 (the number of quarters) 364.
(364= 4x91= 7x52= 13x28.)
If each quarter is to have a whole number of days, three quarters will
therefore consist of 91 days and one of 92 days (containing the one day
more than 364).
Ninety-one days is only divisible into 7x13 or 13x7 days.
At least one quarter will have to be at least one day longer, so we have a
choice between 7 periods being 13 or 14 (if not 15) days long and 13
periods being 7 or 8 (if not 9) days long.
As the number of periods of irregular length is relatively smaller in the
latter case (1 or 2 out of 13, instead of 7), we will choose a standard
of 13 periods of 7 days.
Since we have no reason to deviate from traditional usage here, we will
continue to call the period of seven days "a week".
(The alternative of taking a period of 13 days as the smallest subdivision
of a quarter longer than a day is also less attractive, for it would leave
us with 7 'months' of normally as many as 52 days or 14 'months' of
normally only 26 days.)
Hence, a regular calendar year contains 51 weeks of 7 days and 1 week of 8
Because the irregularity is kept to a minimum by spreading intercalary or
extra days evenly over the whole year, a leap year should contain one more
week of 8 days (instead of one week of 9 days).
The total number of weeks being 52, the equivalent of the traditional
'month' is a period of exactly 4 weeks.
There are thirteen of these months: 12 months of 28 days (once every four
years 11 of 28) and 1 month of 29 days (once every four years 2 of 29).
From the point of view of one year in isolation one might say that the best
place for the extra day in the one eight-day week is at the end of the
year. But from the point of view of years succeeding each other, and
continuing to succeed each other, this is not correct. Because among these
years there are leap years which require a place for a second extra day (or
a second eight-day week). If we do not want to upset the equal distribution
of days over the quarters of the year more than absolutely necessary, then
that day will have to be located in the middle of the year, which will only
break up the regular (non-leap) year system. By always having an eight-day
week at the end of the second quarter, however, the regular succession of
days in a standard year is not affected when the intercalary day is added
at the very end of the year in a leap year. Moreover, with the fixed
extra day exactly in the middle of the year in Equatorial Month the balance
between Northern and Southern months, too, is fully maintained.
The calendar here described is not a haphazard product of
political or religious history, but is founded upon natural measures
of time. Therefore it may be called "a metric calendar".
Properly speaking, it is then 'metric' because it relates to
(natural) measurement, not because it would relate to the meter
as a measure of length. Yet, in a looser sense there is a
relationship between the metric calendar and the meter or the
metric system. Firstly, the meter was originally the ten
millionth part of one fourth of the length of a meridian.
This meridian is an earthly measure of length, as a solar year of
365¼ days is an earthly measure of time; and this meridian
was first divided into 4 (not 10 or 100) equal parts, as we
ourselves have also first divided the year into 4 (almost) equal
parts. Secondly, the metric calendar stands to a calendar such as
the religious-imperial one as the metric system stands to a
series of weights and measures such as the old imperial 'system' of
square feet, fathoms, scruples and suchlike. Given that the
meridian was first divided into four equal parts, the metric
system of weights and measures is a decimal system. Unlike this
system the metric calendar is quaternary in that four
quarters make up a year, and in that four weeks make up a month.
(A predecessor of the religious-imperial calendar tried to be
decimal: it used to have a year of 300 days, divided into 10
months. Much later a competitor of the religious-imperial
calendar was introduced which had decades of 10 days, but its
decimal regime did not reach further than this. Having 12 months
of 3 decades the 5 complementary days were set aside for
political celebration. No wonder that calendar did not last much
longer than one decade of 10 years.)
The first day of the year, New Year's Day, should be a Sunday.
Of the four Sundays we shall assume that it is the
Solstitial Day which is the Midwinter Day in the northern, and
the Midsummer Day in the southern hemisphere.
(The other Solstitial Day could be chosen instead, but this choice has
the practical advantage that the new New Year's Day will be relatively
close to the old New Year's Day of the still most frequently used
Granting that this New Year's Day is the first week-day of the
first week, all other days of the year can now be determined by one
figure indicating the number of the week (from 1 to 52) and one
figure indicating the number of the week-day (from 1 to 8).
For example, if X is the year, X.10.5
refers to the fifth day of the tenth week. This day is always
the fifth day of the week, whatever year it may be. The metric
calendar is a calendar of fixed week-days: the anniversary
of any event always takes place on the same day of the week. (This
disposes of the loony diaries which were, or still are, good for
one particular year only, and which show on what days of the
week dates will fall in the new year. Such diaries did, or still
do, at the same time remind the general public of religious and
political, supernaturalist or exclusivist holidays, and sometimes
of no less than the birthdays of the members of
a whole family revered by
subservient nationals who seem to have nothing on the agenda more
worthy of attention.
It also disposes of so-called 'perpetual' calendars, since the metric
calendar itself is perpetual.)
Strictly speaking, months are superfluous. Yet, it is easier
to locate 1 out of 13 divisions in the mind than 1 out of 52.
For this reason we shall introduce names for the thirteen months
of the metric calendar. Even
tho we reject all
supernaturalism and exclusivism (or imperialism), no new morphemes
are needed for this purpose in the present language: two
ancient morphemes will suffice, namely Yule and Lent.
The original meaning of Yule is yellow or light.
It was used to refer to the return of the light after the winter solstice.
We will now employ Yule for the whole quarter succeeding a
Solstitial Day. The original meaning of Lent is
spring(time) and this is approximately the meaning it still has
when we employ it to refer to the quarter succeeding an Equinoctial Day.
That is to say, a so-called 'Northern Lent' is the period
between winter and summer in the northern hemisphere (which
succeeds the vernal equinox), and a 'Southern Lent' the period
between winter and summer in the southern hemisphere (when it is
fall or 'autumn' in the North). Similarly, Northern Yule is
winter in the northern and summer in the southern hemisphere,
while the order is reversed in Southern Yule.
By adding Early, Mid- and Late
the part of the quarter a month is in can be indicated. Hence, Northern
Early Yule is the month (always 28 days) of the first four weeks of the
year, Southern Late Lent the month (28 or 29 days) of the last
four. Months which lie partially in a Yule quarter and partially in a
Lent one should not be called "Yule" or "Lent", however. Those
containing an Equinoctial Day can also have Equinoctial in
their names: Northern Equinoctial (Month) if belonging to the
first six, Northern months, Southern Equinoctial (Month) if
belonging to the last six, Southern months. It goes without
saying that the one month (the seventh) between the Northern
months which represent the northern hemisphere and the Southern
months which represent the southern hemisphere should be called
"Equatorial (Month)". So the metric calendar reflects, as it were, a
ranging from the extreme, polar north via the equator to the extreme,
polar south. Also in this respect it is the first universal calendar
of humankind; of humankind on Earth, that is.
The following table gives the complete list of the thirteen
metric months with their names and the approximate equivalents
in the old religious-imperial calendar already referred to. (The dates
do not apply to leap years and names of an exclusivist or supernaturalist
origin are not shown.)
| || |
| 1 ||NEY ||Northern Early Yule
|| 1- 4 ||22 XII (December)-18 I |
| 2 ||NMY ||Northern Mid-Yule
|| 5- 8 ||19 I-15 II |
| 3 ||NLY ||Northern Late Yule
|| 9-12 ||16 II-15 III |
| 4 ||NEM ||Northern Equinoctial
||13-16 ||16 III-12 IV |
| 5 ||NML ||Northern Mid-Lent
||17-20 ||13 IV-10 V |
| 6 ||NLL ||Northern Late Lent
||21-24 ||11 V-7 VI |
| 7 ||EQU ||Equatorial (Month)
||25-28 ||8 VI-6 VII |
| 8 ||SEY ||Southern Early Yule
||29-32 ||7 VII-3 VIII |
| 9 ||SMY ||Southern Mid-Yule
||33-36 ||4 VIII-31 VIII |
|10 ||SEM ||Southern Equinoctial
||37-40 ||1 IX-28 IX (September) |
|11 ||SEL ||Southern Early Lent
||41-44 ||29 IX-26 X (October) |
|12 ||SML ||Southern Mid-Lent
||45-48 ||27 X-23 XI (November) |
|13 ||SLL ||Southern Late Lent
||49-52 ||24 XI-21 XII (December)
Note that the first Solstitial Day is New Year's Day (or New
Year Solstital Day) and the second one Midyear's Day (or Midyear
Solstitial Day), which is Midsummer Day in the northern and
Midwinter Day in the southern hemisphere. To indicate the month
to which a week belongs, the abbreviation of the month can (but
need not) be put in front of its number. X.NLY10.5, for
instance, designates the fifth day of the tenth (year-)week of Northern
Late Yule. (The 10th week of the year is the 2nd week of the month of
Northern Late Yule, but this number does not play a role in any notation.)
Northern Late Yule is then the most detailed description:
one could also say "Late Yule", "Northern Yule" or "Yule".
Confusion is not possible, because there is only one week in the year
with the number 10. (In codes numbers of weeks, and also of months,
lower than 10 should be preceded by 0: 01, 02, etc.)
It will come in handy that week-days have names too. Obviously these
names should, then, be based on their ordinal numbers (rather than, say,
on the names of local gods or monarchs). And such names are already
available; they only need translation.
They are: Primidi, Duodi, Tridi, Quartidi,
Quintidi, Sextidi, Septidi and Octidi, which
may be translated as Primo(day), Duo(day), Trio(day),
Quarti(day), Quinti(day), Sixter(day),
Septer(day) and Octer(day) respectively.
(Other adequate translations or names may be used instead.)
Now X.10.5 is the 10th Quinti of X, that is, the year X's
tenth(-week) Quintiday. As an extra indication one may (but need
not) say "the 10th Quintiday of (Northern) (Late) Yule". The
Octerday is the 26th-week Octer (of Equatorial Month). This is Midyear's
Eve. In a leap year this first Octerday is followed, half a year later, by
a second: the 52nd-week Octer (of Southern Late Lent), that is, New Year's
Eve. It is only for these intercalary days that first is not the
same as first-week and second not the same as
second-week. (It should be kept in mind that in this notation the
name of the day is used with the number of the week, and not the name of
the month with the number of the day.)
For the early readers of this
it is not yet known what will be the last day of the era of
only that the era of
should start on the first day (of Northern Early Yule) that the Sun
will pass the solstice after the abolition of the last political
form of denominational or otherwise ideological
exism in the world.
(Similarly, the early readers' provisional calendar
starts on the first Solstitial Day after the end of the Second
World War, so long as no third world war has begun and ended.)
The first Solstitial Day succeeding the last Monday or other
weekday of the officially
or ideologically exclusivistic era will be the New Year's Day of
the year 1: EI 1.01.1, that is, the first Primoday of the year EI 1.
Hence, on the day when the Sun will pass the solstice for the first
(or second) time after a universal regime of denominational or general,
ideological inclusivity has been established on Earth, on that
'holy' Sunday, clocks in all civilized lands should ring in the
year 1 -- symbolically, if not literally.
Then, humankind as a whole will finally see the old, exclusivist
system out and the new, inclusive system in.