Did you know you use this calendar?
Did you know that the calendar we use today is the western Gregorian calendar?
To the average person, a calendar is a calendar.
The Gregorian calendar is based on tedious precision to ensure dates, times, the solar system and a host of other factors keep us on track 365 days a year.
Types of Calendars
Every type of calendar has some form of time error resulting in an inexact 365-day period.
With that said, why was the Gregorian calendar chosen?
Type of Calendar
Days In A Year
Error Of Time In A Year
27 seconds per year
2 seconds per year
13 seconds per year
7 minutes per year
2nd Millennium BC
.5 seconds per year
11 minutes per year
The Gregorian calendar was chosen by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The ISO streamlines date/time into a standard for worldwide use. This standard maintains a specific format of date/time.
Not all countries use the Gregorian calendar.
This can cause confusion and error in communications with countries using a different calendar.
The History Behind The Gregorian Calendar
The Gregorian calendar was named after Pope Gregory XIII who introduced this calendar to the world on February 24, 1582.
This calendar is based upon the following:
The Gregorian calendar was created by the Pope to replace the Julian calendar.
The Julian calendar was created by Julius Caesar in 46 BC.
Caesar created the Julian calendar for all of the Roman-ruled areas. However, this calendar did not reflect time correctly.
To help you better understand the difference between the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar, see the below.
⦁Was not planned around the earth's orbit around the sun
⦁Time was inaccurate
⦁Planned around earth's orbit around the sun
⦁Time is more accurate
⦁Seasons and daylight hours were taken into consideration
Countries Slowly Adopting The Gregorian Calendar
Once the Pope introduced the Gregorian calendar, Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian without hesitation.
It took up to the 19th century for other countries to do the same.
Protestant Countries Hesitant to Adopt Gregorian Calendar
Protestants feared that the Gregorian calendar was a ploy by the Catholic Church to depress their presence.
It took England and American colonies 200 years after the Gregorian calendar was introduced to adopt it as their calendar.
Britain Loses 12 days After Switching to Gregorian Calendar
Britain replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar on September 2, 1752.
When they went to bed and woke up the next morning, it was September 14, 1752. They had lost 11 days!
No Calendar Is Perfect
Regardless of what calendar is used, there will always be a discrepancy in time.
The perfection sought in trying to “plan time” may be beyond man’s ability.
As technology continues to grow, there may be a point in the future where man will find that “sweet spot” in narrowing planning time down to a mere milli-second or less!
Fun Facts About Calendars!
Kelechava, B. (2016 February 10) History of the Standard Gregorian Calendar, American National Standards Institute, Retrieved from: https://blog.ansi.org/2016/02/history-of-standard-gregorian-calendar/
Thorsen, S. (n.d.) How Accurate Are Calendars?, Retrieved from: