What Day Is It?

Mon. 22 Jul 2013. 6:09 pm


A fact that I was not aware of were the effects of changing calendars from the Julian to the Georgian.

The Gregorian calendar did not exist before October 15, 1582. Gregorian dates before that are proleptic, that is, using the Gregorian rules to reckon backward from October 15, 1582.

The Gregorian calendar was soon adopted by most Catholic countries (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Poland, most of Italy). Protestant countries followed later, and the countries of Eastern Europe adopted the “new calendar” even later. In the British Empire (including the American colonies), Wednesday 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14 September 1752. For 12 years from 1700 Sweden used a modified Julian calendar, and adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1753, but Russia remained on the Julian calendar until 1918 (1 February became 14 February), while Greece continued to use it until 1 March 1923 (Gregorian).

Since the Julian and Gregorian calendars were long used simultaneously, although in different places, calendar dates in the transition period are often ambiguous, unless it is specified which calendar was being used. In some circumstances, double dates might be used, one in each calendar. The notation “Old Style” (OS) is sometimes used to indicate a date in the Julian calendar, as opposed to “New Style” (NS), which either represents the Julian date with the start of the year as 1 January or a full mapping onto the Gregorian calendar. This notation is used to clarify dates from countries which continued to use the Julian calendar after the Gregorian reform, such as Great Britain, which did not switch to the reformed calendar until 1752, or Russia, which did not switch until 1918. [Wikipedia “From Julian to Gregorian” 15 July 2013]

The question then is when looking at records what does the date represent?


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