Jour de la révolution

Do note, by the way, that today is the French Republican Calendrical equivalent of 29 February — it’s the leap-day that comes round in order to complete the quadrennial cycle, hence its magnificently appropriate name.

I’ve long thought that the EU got things the wrong way around when it mandated use of the (French Revolutionary) metric system and stuck to the old Gregorian Calendar. My offer to Mr Brown’s Government is that if they legislate to implement the French Republican Calendar in this country, I shall drop my opposition to the creation of British Values Day — especially if it gets held on the Jour de la révolution, which would mean not only that it’ll only come around every four years, but also that it’ll tacitly, or not-so-tacitly, identify British Values with French Republican Values, which would be a significant improvement on what’s otherwise likely to be on offer.

Year CCXVII kicks off tomorrow…

New Year Question

If there are any Calendar Bores out there, can he or she (but, more likely, he) tell me how often the French Republican New Year and the Jewish New Year coincide? It seems that from sunset this evening until midnight Paris time we have overlapping New Year festivities, which I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before.

(Will French Republican Jews celebrate with especial vigour this evening, or do they worry that that would compromise their French Republican identity? I like to think that they will.)

Jour de la Révolution

Le jour de gloire est arrivé! Yes, it’s the leap-year day in the arithmetical version of the French Revolutionary Calendar that this blogsite enjoys thanks to the expert engineering of Steve over at Very True Things.

Phersu has noted the occasion, too in a footnote to a post from earlier today:

(Via Portique virtuel, qui rappelle qu’aujourd’hui est dans une version simplifiée et homogénéisée au calendrier grégorien du calendrier de Fabre d’Eglantine le “Jour de la révolution” de l’An CCXII – le Jour de la Révolution est un jour qui n’existe que les années bissextiles, toutes les “Franciades” de quatre ans, le dernier “jour complémentaire” de l’année, demain nous serons le 1er Vendémiaire An 213 après la proclamation de la Ière République).

I couldn’t put it better myself.I’ve always maintained that the EU made the wrong choice when it embraced the French Revolutionary Metric System (“The Revolution has given the People the Metre!”) but rejected the French Revolutionary Calendar. Clearly the way forward is to combine old English weights and measures with the harmonious enjoyment of of the passage of time that the Republican Calendar makes possible.

But I suspect I’m still in a minority on this one.


As you’ll already have noticed, the annual cycle of French Republican holidays has begun, those days which don’t belong to the regular months of the Republican Year, but come between the end of Fructidor and the start of Vendémiaire, which kicks off the new year. Today, for example, is the Jour de la Vertu.

But it’s more exciting than usual this year. Steve, who once upon a time wrote the code for the excellent French Republican calendar which adorns this blog (and who now has his own blog) has emailed to remind me that this is a French Republican Leap Year, with the result that next Tuesday is the quadrennial (and, in the circumstances, entirely aptly named) Jour de la Révolution!

Be sure to indulge in suitable celebrations.

Rival French Revolutionary Calendars!

I’m delighted to see that I’m not the only blogger to have installed a French Revolutionary Calendar: the folks at Republikeinse have one, too (on the left-hand menubar, scroll down a bit), along with a Roman republican calendar, too. (More details on this kind of thing here.)

Careful readers will notice that their calendar and mine are a day out of sync with one another, which probably calls for explanation. The Virtual Stoa’s calendar is based on the mathematical version of the French Repbulican Calendar, which was approved but (alas) never implemented. Republikeinse probably have a script to generate dates according to the astronomical version of the calendar, which was the one actually in force in France in the 1790s, etc.

It’s good to clear that one up.