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A copy of the French Republican Calendar in the Historical Museum of Lausanne.

Jean, whose hobby is genealogy, explains what happened to dates in France between 1792 and 1805 ...

Searching after my Ancestors, I discovered the French Republican Calendar

People need to be situated in time. Some events are considered as the beginning of an Era. For instance, Mohamed's flight from Mecca on the 16th of July, 622 A.D., is the beginning of Hegira. The supposed date of Christ's birth is the beginning of our current Era (in the Gregorian calendar).

When the French people revolted, in 1789, it was considered that a new Era began and a new calendar was founded. The year was cut into 12 months of 30 days plus 5 or 6 additional days to make up the years.

The names of the new Months were, in French, Vendemiaire (grape harvest) Brumaire (misty month), Frimaire (frosty month) Nivose (snowy month) Pluviose (rainy month), Ventose (windy month), Germinal (germination month), Floreal (flowering month), Prairial (growing grass), Messidor (harvest month), Thermidor (warm month), and Fructidor (fruits maturing month).

The Republican calendar was established on the 24th of October 1793, but the beginning was settled on 22nd of September 1792, which was the date of the declaration of the First Republic, more than a year before.

Its last month, the 14th, was not whole. It was stopped on 10th of Nivose which was equivalent to the 31st of December 1805 in the Gregorian calendar. The first new Gregorian day was the 1st of January 1806.

article by Jean Leboulanger © April 2010

more information >>> you can find out more ... about the calendar; about the ten-day week, the ten-hour day, the 100-minute hour, and the 100-second minute; about the animals, tools, plants, or minerals associated with each day; and about today's date at Wikipedia (click)


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revised :  Octidi, 8 Floréal CCXVIII / created :  Quartidi, 4 Floréal CCXVIII = Friday 23 April 2010

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