Friday, August 27, 2010

Calendar Bump

In every year, one comes to the calendar bump, that doubly prolonged section of the calendar containing July and August. It is hard to believe that there were once only ten months in the calendar, and that June became September ('seventh month') before going to October ('eighth month'), November ('ninth month') and December ('tenth month').

The calendar bump is a monument to clever chronological gerrymandering. Somebody needed to make months match. The intent was good, and it did reduce the chaos. Apparently, it worked.

To me, the July-August bump was always that chaotic part of the year in which it was too early to study for final examinations and too late to be blithely unconcerned. You were suffering great heat while feeling that the end was coming.

And now, I sit here watching the end arrive. It is like one of those disaster movies.

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2 Comments:

Blogger slotusch said...

no wonder... i had always wondered why sept... was the 9th month, Oct.. the 10th and Dec was the 12th... it was so different from the number names I learnt in the romance languages.

I'm also curious as to how they created a solar calendar anyway? I can imagine looking at the moon and creating the lunar calendar... but the 'solar calendar' always seemed more unnatural and arbitrary to me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 12:51:00 pm  
Blogger Trebuchet said...

Solar calendars are more important, agriculturally, than lunar calendars. That's because they are related to the seasons. So it's planting, growing, harvesting and wintering, normally; and these are then divided according to the lunar calendar (months or moons).

Saturday, August 28, 2010 6:27:00 pm  

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