The 6-Day Week Solar Calendar with common Muslim/Christian weekend by Tibi86.
Perhaps you are the kind of person who wants to help the environment and boost the economy at the same time. No? Well, then maybe you have a job, or go to school, or have a family member who does. Either way, you will want to stay with me on this.
As we all know, there are some big problems with the current calendar, the so-called Gregorian calendar. It is confusingly irregular, it has not been updated for a long time and it is just not designed to meet the needs of modern society.
All the calendar’s shortcomings could be fixed with one fundamental change based on one simple idea: go to a six-day week composed of four weekdays and a regular 2-day weekend.
There has been talk about a “4-day workweek” for as long as I can remember, and we hear it mentioned a lot nowadays as a way to deal with high gas prices and employment concerns. But let’s face it, it is just not going to happen. Not as long as a week is seven days long, that is. Nobody is going to go for giving people a three-day weekend every single week. In economic terms, that is just not sustainable. But what if the week was six days long? What if we were to eliminate a weekday (say, Saturday) in order to formulate a 6-day week?
The 4-day workweek would then be institutionalized for everyone’s benefit, but the weekend does not change! While we are at it, I suggest we go ahead and address the irregular-month problem at the same time. The improved calendar would still have 12 months, only we would make each month 30 or 31 days long.
Days and years are based on regularly recurring astronomical events. There is no changing the length of a year or a day. Weeks and months, however, are arbitrary groupings of days within the year. The month is only loosely based on one full cycle of the moon, and the week is just as arbitrary, scientifically speaking. Because weeks and months are man-made demarcations of time, they are things that can be freely messed with. We have not messed with weeks and months for a long time, but we could.
Here is what the new weeks and months would look like under the 6-day week plan.
There you go. There is your new-style months with 30/31 days, 5 weeks, 20 working days and 10/11 non-working days every single month.
There will be 240 working days and 60 weekends within each year. Beyond the symmetry and intrinsic appeal, the most obvious benefit from the New Calendar would be the accelerated work week and increase in leisure time. The weekend would come around sooner every single week, and there would be 60 weekends per year, not 52. Any weekday could be eliminated, but Saturday is the best option (it will be explained later on).
We have learned to live with the crazy relationship between calendar dates and days of the week, but all that complexity has been totally unnecessary. We don't have to live that way anymore. As shown in the New Calendar, the 1st day of each month is Sunday, and the 4th, 16th or 28th, for example are Wednesdays.
Who would be for the new calendar? Well, workers, students, and families would certainly benefit from the shortened workweek and extra weekends. The travel and recreation industry would be all for it. The uniformity of the months would make scheduling and accounting tasks much easier. Business and commerce would realize huge benefits from all this regularity and from improvements in employee health and morale. We can also predict, with considerable confidence, that kids will immediately do a lot better in school. Aren’t more frequently repeated lessons better for learning things than are less-frequent, longer lessons? Of course they are. The school year would be made up of fifty 4-day weeks instead of forty 5-day weeks. This will provide a natural framework for repetitive learning, and we can expect a corollary improvement in “student mean recall gradients” and things like that. This could be a very meaningful educational reform.
Who would be against the idea? Some employers might have a knee jerk reaction to the idea of their employees working fewer days a year. This is to be expected, but they would come around if they saw that their attitude wasn’t good for their image or their bottom line. But still the difference in number of working days between New Calendar and Gregorian Calendar is not really that big as it seems, partially due to fact that we make a trade-off for working/non-working days in case of national holidays, or assign them to fall on weekend. Thus there are exactly 240 working days within year. Now compare it with working calendars of some countries and you will see that our Calendar has only slightly smaller number of working days (ex. for year 2013 - 13 in case of England, 11 in case of California, 7 in case of Germany and Russia). So, basically there is no more than 1 extra free day per month, which is affordable for the world economy considering all the advantages New Calendar provides.
I also suppose that religious groups would be hesitant to just up and eliminate the 7-day week. Things could get sticky if we run into strong objections based on the verbal literalism of the Old Testament. But remember: 60 weeks instead of 52 means 60 Sabbath Days instead of 52. I think we’ll be able to focus on that as a strong selling point. Religious organizations will certainly approve of the family friendliness and social welfare benefits resulting from the 4-day workweek. Also because people would now have more time to stop and smell the roses, the 6-day week could actually be the impetus for a worldwide spiritual renewal. They might not see it at first, but the world’s religions would surely benefit from the change to a 6-day week.
Further description Edit
1st day of the year, start of the day, and leap year ruleEdit
Spring Equinox must fall on the last day (March 31) of the year. First day the year (April 1) is the first full day after the moment of Spring Equinox according to UTC time. Another suggestion of mine is that the start of the day to be moved to 6 AM (apx. 6 hours before Solar noon): 6 AM to be shown as 00:00, 8 AM as 02:00, 12 Noon as 06:00, 4 PM as 10:00, 10 PM as 16:00 and so on. Thus, day (and so does year) starts around sunrise, not midnight.
The rule of leap year is not mathematical, but based on astronomical observation. The year is leap when number of days between the Spring Equinox that marks its beginning and Spring Equinox that marks the beginning of the next year is 366. But still, leap years will occur once in 4 years (rarely once in 5) with no significant difference from Gregorian Calendar, even if order of leap years will often vary from Gregorian calendar. Leap day is April 31.
Structure of the calendar Edit
Year is divided in 12 months, each month having 30 or 31 days. Months having 31 days are: May, June, July, August and September. The reason for choosing these months is because of unequal time length of each season due to Apsis. It is important to note that Earth does not move at a constant speed in its elliptical orbit. Therefore the seasons are not of equal length: the time taken for the sun to move from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice, to the autumnal equinox, to the winter solstice, and back to the vernal equinox are roughly 92.8, 93.6, 89.8 and 89.0 days respectively. (These values slightly change over course of centuries (picture from the right)).
Each month is divided in 5 weeks having 6 days each. So, there are 4 working days and 2 weekend days. In the months having 31 days, last day of the month is not counted as any weekday and it is an extra non-working day. There are exactly 20 working and 10 (or 11, in case of 31 day months) non-working days in every single month.
Each month corresponds almost exactly to one astrological sign – April to Aries, May to Taurus and so on. Only few signs don’t correspond exactly to one month but the difference is not bigger than one day in any case. This difference occurs because of irregularity of current Gregorian Calendar, so it can be easily ignored.
Holidays and number of working hours per year Edit
I propose to reduce number of working hours worldwide and to increase number of paid vacation days each employee can take. The most optimal choose would be a 6-hour continuous working day (with no lunch break) and 30 vacation days (only working days counted) per year. Taking this in consideration, number of net working hours per year would be (240-30)x6=1260. It may seem too few, but don't forget that many countries are already having fewer working hours per day. (Note: most tables giving numbers of working hours per year are not showing net working hours, meaning vacation days are not deducted from them).
Holidays differ from country to country, so they are not highlighted in this calendar. Each country can have additional non-working holidays or holiday periods. But because we already have more non-working and vacations days here, I propose to deduct every additional non-working holiday from number of paid vacation days employees receive each year (ex. if a country has 10 national/religious holidays per year, employees in that country receive only 20 (30-10=20) paid vacation days per year).
Names of weekdays and months, year number Edit
It is up to each country to decide upon month names. It can be current month names, some other national month names, or even zodiac sign names which will correspond for each month in this Calendar.
Year number is also up to each country to decide, but it should preferably remain the same in order to not create further confusion.
As it was already mentioned the weekday which will be dropped in this calendar is Saturday. There is a strong reason behind it. As we all know the two most widespread religions in the world are Islam and Christianity. Their holy days respectively are Friday and Sunday. Dropping Saturday and making both Friday and Sunday non-working days will solve the problem that many Muslim countries today are using an alternative workweek (Sunday to Thursday, or Saturday to Wednesday, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workweek_and_weekend#Islamic_countries). Thus we will have a common workweek from Monday to Thursday for both Christians and Muslims.
There are two main reasons for choosing Sunday as a first day of a week. Firstly, this will ensure that all Solstice and Equinox dates fall on non-working days, so, holidays associated with these dates will also fall around non-working days. Secondly, this is useful when we divide months in 2 or 3 (periods of 15 and 10 days). Thus we receive same/close number of working and non-working days in each division (ex. if we divide a 30 day month in 2 we will get 10 working and 5 non-working days in each half).
Conversion from Gregorian Calendar to 6-Day Week Solar Calendar Edit
With the availability of modern day software it would be no problem to convert all dates from Gregorian Calendar to corresponding dates in New Calendar. All major dates and birthdays would be celebrated on the date corresponding to that date of Gregorian Calendar in New Calendar. (ex. my birthday is November 13 in Gregorian Calendar which corresponds to November 21 in New Calendar (exact data for that year must be checked in order to calculate it precisely), so I will celebrate my birthday on November 21 in New Calendar).
Recapitulating benefits Edit
As we can see the benefits from using new calendar are overwhelming:
The calendar uses nice numbers – 12 months per year means that each month can be divided in 4 quarters (which is not possible in some alternative calendars with 13 months). Months have 30 or 31 days (no more February with 28 days). Each week has even number of days which is beneficial for scheduling issues. (ex. a person can schedule his gym program in order to go to gym exactly once in 2 days: Monday/Wednesday/Friday). The benefit for accounting issues is the fact that each month has exactly 20 working days, making each quarter to have 60, and each year 240 working days.
The calendar is in harmony with astrological events - Solstices and Equinoxes occur either on last or first day of the month.
The calendar has a common workweek from Monday to Thursday for both Christian and Muslim countries.
No new paper calendars have to be printed each year because order of days does not change from year to year. All holidays and activities can be planned with no need to modify them each year.
In conclusion, this calendar resolves a number of issues of current Gregorian Calendar
- It is astrologically precise being in harmony with Solstice and Equinox dates.
- Common workweek from Monday to Thursday for both Muslims and Christians.
- No need for new calendars each year - order of days does not change from year to year.
- Same number of weeks in each quarter and month.
- Same number of working days in each quarter, month and even half-month.
- Number of days in a regular week is even and can be divided by two.
Implementation issues Edit
The biggest and almost only real obstacle for implementation of this calendar can be the need to break continuous use of a seven-day week. Some conservative religious organizations and people may be against calendar reform due to this reason. But as it was mentioned above we will have 60 Fridays and 60 Sundays per year for Muslims and Christians (instead of 52) if we implement this calendar reform.
Another minor disadvantage can be the time needed to adapt which is valid for any reform. But as it was also already mentioned, the availability of modern day software can diminish these difficulties. Simplicity and advantages of the New Calendar will make people to get used to it, the calendar having no other obvious disadvantage.