Tech UPTechnologyThe days that never were

The days that never were


This is the story of the ten days of the month of October 1582 that never existed . From the night of October 4, the humanity of the time made the leap to October 15. Thus, if we ever wanted to find the events that took place on October 7, 1582, we would find that the newspaper archives “remain silent” . A lag of days that made certain days “disappear” from the calendar, but for what reason?

Neither the 5th, nor the 7th nor the following days existed . For all those who lived in Spain at that time, the calendars jumped, as if by magic, from one date to another. Up to 10 full days were skipped as part of the reform of the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII.


The Julian calendar was inaccurate

It was precisely Pope Gregory XIII who was appointed cardinal by Pius IV in 1564 and at the death of Pius V elected his successor, who proposed the amendment . The reform was intended to more precisely determine the date of Easter which, according to the Pope, had been altered under the previous Julian Calendar, implemented in 46 BC. C. by Julius Caesar. For I carry, carried out the reform of the calendar, creating the current system (the Gregorian calendar replacing the Julian calendar) avoiding leap years when they fall in the hundreds except when they are divisible by 4.

The problem with the Julian calendar was that it was longer than it should be. The system calculated that Earth years lasted 365 days and six hours (divided into 12 months), and included one more day every four years. But this characteristic, that it lasted longer than it should, changed everything, according to Pope Gregory XIII.

What the Julian calendar proposed was that the year had a duration of 365 days and 6 hours. But since, in reality, that extra duration was 5 hours, 48 ​​minutes and 45 seconds, it implied a lag of almost 11 minutes per year, which added to the years that the calendar had governed, accumulated almost 10 days. It had to be fixed.


confusing burials

Thus, 1582, the year in which the reform was imposed, was the shortest year ever recorded . Citizens went from going to bed on October 4 to waking up on October 15 in the blink of an eye; so all those who were born between October 5 and 14 of the 16th century, did not have birthdays that year. It also affected deaths. Those people who died on October 5 and were buried the next day had, at least on paper, a ten-day wait to be buried, as was the case of Saint Teresa of Jesus , founding nun of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites . That is, he died on October 4, 1582 (the day the Gregorian calendar came into force) and his burial was 24 hours later, but on October 15, of course.

In essence , those ten days of 1582 never happened and simply do not exist within the Gregorian calendar system used almost universally in the West today.

A side effect of this is the modern leap year system, in which every quarter and 400 years is a leap year, but no other year divisible by 100 is. For example, this means that 1900 was a normal year, 1904 was a leap year, and 2000 was also a leap year.


Why exactly was the month of October chosen?

The Church had chosen the month of October to avoid skipping any major Christian holidays. As a curiosity, France, for example, made the transition separately during the month of December. Of course, the Protestant and Orthodox countries did not want to follow the Pope’s guidelines, so they refused to adopt the new calendar. The result left Catholic Europe (Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland and the Catholic states of Germany) with this new calendar and the rest of the continent having to undertake a kind of time travel by moving to these countries. Finally, little by little non-Catholic countries also adopted the Gregorian calendar, spreading massively throughout the world. The last country to switch from Julian to Gregorian was Greece , which finally made a 12-day jump in March 1924.

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