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History of the Gregorian Calendar

The Gregorian calendar, also known as the solar calendar, is the time table that is being used in

the present times. The contemporary calendar has been changed many times, from the original

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calendar that began the daily dairy. Apart from serving as the present day international civil cal

endar, the Gregorian calendar also regulates the ceremonial cycle of the Roman Catholic and

Protestant churches. As a matter of fact, the calendar was originally aimed for ecclesiastical pur

poses. Though many other calendars are also in use today, they are mostly restricted to particular

religion and cultures.

The history of the Gregorian calendar can be traced to the times when Rome was ruled by the

empire of Roumulus. In those times, the days and months of the Roman calendar were set a

cording to the cycles of the sun and the moon. Rather than the 12 months in a year today, the Ro

man calendar was considered to be ten months long. The New Year commenced in Spring, on

March 1, and ended in December. A new calendar was introduced by Numa, the new ruler who

succeeded Romulus.

The new calendar had 12 months and ended in February. The beginning of the year was later

changed from March 1 to January 1. This was marked as the beginning of the civil year. The num

ber of days in the civil year was 365. However, a new Julian calendar was introduced by Julius

Caesar, the famed Roman ruler. The Julian calendar began from the 1st of January, in the year 45

B.C. Finally, a new version of Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in the year

1582. This was the calendar that evolved into the present day Gregorian calendar that we use.

In the Gregorian calendar, Sunday was originally named after the sun. Monday was originally

called the moon. The next day to Monday was named after mars, the warrior god of Rome. How

ever, the name was later changed to Tiu’s day for the Teutonic warrior god. Tiu’s Day gradually

evolved into Tuesday, as we call it today. The day after Tuesday was called Wotan’s day, for the

Roman god of peace. This was later changed to Woden’s day, today known as Wednesday, after a

Teutonic god. Thursday, originally was called the Jupiter’s Day, tracing its name to the Roman god

of thunder and lightning. Later, the name was changed to Thor’s Day, after the ancient thunder

god, which finally evolved into Thursday.

The six day of the week was named after the Roman goddess, who was symbolic of spring. Later,

it became the Frigg’s day, after the Scandinavian goddess of love. Finally, Frigg’s day became

Friday, as we know it today. There was no major change in the seventh day of the week, as it was

already known in the Gregorian calendar as the Saturn’s day, named after the Roman goddess of

harvest. As time passed, it evolved into the present day Saturday. The months in the Gregorian

calendar were borrowed from the Julian calendar. For instance, January was named after Janus,

the god of beginnings.

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