William Hogarth’s satirical painting, “An Election Entertainment” (1755), includes the words “Give us back our eleven days!” (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)
In 1584 a violent, angry crowd ransacked the city of Augsburg, Germany. Citizens broke through thick windows and shot their guns into the street. They were marching to City Hall to make it clear that they would not take the authorities’ new plans sitting down. They were in the midst of the Kalenderstriet, or “calendar conflict.” It was a response to the proposed change from the Julian calendar, which had been used for over a thousand years, to the Gregorian calendar, which would fully skip 10 days.
The people of Augsburg weren’t just upset that their calendar was being changed, which would skip birthdays and ruin weekends. Germany was a largely Protestant territory with a history of war between…
Source: Why England Was A Year Behind Belgium, Spain and Italy for 170 Years | Atlas Obscura
One of the marvels of modern civilization is that, for the most part, humans all around the globe have agreed on one system for counting days and hours. This is a recent development. While people have generally relied on the cycles of the moon, Earth and sun to measure time, at least 80 different calendars have been used, some more closely aligned than others.
And no system is perfect. The most common timekeeper, the Gregorian calendar, is filled with eccentricities. February is so short, random months have 30 days, and the formula for leap-years defies logic (it is a lot more complicated than “every four years”). This all has to do with keeping Easter in the right place; there’s no good reason, on the other hand, for the…
Source: In 1844, the Philippines Skipped a Day, And It Took Decades for the Rest of the World to Notice | Atlas Obscura