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Calendars – are they stupid?

Murali Chemuturi, murali@chemuturi.com

What is the big deal about calendars? Plenty if you look close enough. As it is people
were conned into celebrating festivals when it is convenient for the feudal lords not when
they need to be celebrated.

New Year

When the earth is going round and round about the son in an unrelenting manner for
billions of years, where is the beginning or end of an year? It is just a point we were a
year ago. But so are we everyday as the son rises, the earth was exactly at the same point
a year ago and it will be there next year too.

Just to count how many times we revolved around the son in our life, we started counting
years taking one point in our rotation around the son and started using it to mark the end
or beginning of an year.

The forefathers whose wisdom continues to astound scholars around the globe decided
that the New Year must have something “new”. They also found that God had provided a
clear marker too – it is the spring! So New Year is celebrated on the first day of the
spring. In the northern hemi-sphere, it was celebrated about the spring equinox. In many
eastern countries, the New Year is celebrated coinciding with the arrival of spring even
today. But western societies are celebrating New Year on the first day of January when
the environment is chilly and gloomy. Why so? In the bygone days of the Roman Empire,
the feudal lords bribed the king and the clergy to move it from spring to winter. It saves
them valuable working days. If the New Year is celebrated in spring when the days are
conducive to get the fellows to work in fields, they would be making merry instead of
toiling. That is it. Lobbying and special interest groups (SIGs) were in vogue back then
too!

Months

Have you ever wondered why there are 12 months in a year or why there are 12 hours on
a clock face? Well here is the reason – 12 is the chosen number because there are 12
zodiac signs – that’s all!

Those forefathers, who based their calendar on the movement of the moon began the
month with no moon day or the full moon day. These calendars are still in vogue.

Those forefathers, who aligned their calendar with the son, began the month on the day
the son entered a new zodiac sign.

Now, as you all know, the month begins neither on the day son changes signs nor is
aligned with the movements of the moon. Is it right?
Month has 30 days – why? A month is aligned with the movement of the moon from no
moon to full moon. Once such cycle takes approximately 29.5 days. Since it is not
possible to start a day in the middle of the day, 30 was taken. But the year is dependent
on the rotation of the earth around the son. The forefathers found out that there is a
difference in the moon-based year and the don-based year. Moon completes 12 cycles
and some in the time it tales earth to complete one rotation around the son. They came up
with a complex set of rules to reconcile the differences between the lunar year and the
solar year.

Vatican decided on the solar year and adjusted the months to suit the solar year. They
made it a counting calendar delinking it from the astronomical movements. To adjust
they made every alternate month 31 or 30 days. So beginning with January 31, February
30, March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30, July 31, August 30, September 31, October 30,
November 31 and December 30.

Now do I hear you saying “Wait a minute. Hang on. There is an error in your logic”?

No there is no error in the logic. But then the SIGs stepped in. They said, “Hey hang on,
wait a minute. Do you know we pay wages monthly? We need longer August as it falls in
summer. Shorten January or February as they fall in winter”. So the months were
reassigned, August, October and December became 30 days with September and
November being relegated to 30 days.

But the days in a year became 367 where as it took only 365 days for the earth to revolve
around the earth. The SIGs could not influence the earth. But as the mandate was to cut
days, if necessary from either January or February, February was axed. You can’t have
the first month in the year to have less days! So now February has 28 days.

Then some lunatic stood up and pointed out that the year is actually about 365.25 days –
“so what are you doing about it”? So a leap year was invented to take care of the extra
one fourth day of revolution. But later on it came to be known that the year is not exactly
365.25 and complex rules to adjust the calendar. I am not going into it and complicating
this further.

Day

Anyone knows that a “day breaks” when sunlight (directly or indirectly) ouches the earth.
And night falls when the light goes away.

Why should it start at 12 in the night? The official explanation that the dateline is so
adjusted that so that it does not fall anywhere on the land. It is in the Pacific ocean. But
why should it change at 12 in the night?

Yeah, you guessed it right – it is the SIGs. The laborers come to work only after the day
breaks – not immediately but after a few hours. So make them come to work earlier, the
day was made to start at 12 in the night. The laborers can wake up any time after the day
begins but come to work as the first light breaks.

Week

How come a week has seven days? A week is half of a half-lunar cycle, rounded off to
the lower day. A half lunar-cycle is either from no moon to full moon or full moon to no
moon.

Counting calendar or astronomical calendar?

The present calendar is based on counting. Suppose you are lost at sea or castaway on a
lonely island without a calendar, can you make out what day it is? But if you are educated
on the movements of the moon, you can certainly make it out. It takes very little
intelligence and coaching to track the movements of the moon. Then we do not need this
counting calendar.

The paradoxes of the calendar

These are the paradoxes of the present calendar

1. Why do we need weeks and months in a year? Can’t we just say 44th day 2010
instead of saying 13th February? Should we say Last Wednesday – can’t we just
say 5 days ago? Strictly speaking we do not need except that we are so used to
this way that we find anything else as abhorrent. Salary can be paid every 7 days
or 15 days or 30 days, if you prefer.
2. Should we continue to use the present system, should we not change the New
Year at least to coincide with the onset of spring?
3. Should we continue to use months, should we not move its beginning it to
coincide with the son changing a zodiac sign?
4. Now that we are working all-round the year, why not we do away with February
28 days and make it 30?
5. Now that we know, why not we make every alternate month 30 days or 31 days
so that August, October and December would have 30 days and September and
November would have 31 days? If we have a clip a day from a month, is it not
logical to clip it from the last month of the year, namely December?

God made the time and space. He gave us a calendar – only he put it up in the sky where
everyone can see and nobody can be fooled. You closely observe the sky for an year and
you will easily make out the calendar. But the SIGs which have vested interested would
not allow you to see it. They make it appear complicated and that you are not intelligent
enough to make out the divine calendar. But now, God brought in democracy to beat the
SIGs. It is sad to see that SIGs realigned their strategies so that they can continue to
divide the human beings and rule over them.
Somebody can ask for proof for all this. I am sure it would be available in the secret
vaults of the Vatican, if anyone can get access to it and decipher it.