Learn > What is the Revised Julian Calendar?

What is the Revised Julian Calendar?

 

Did you know that the Revised Julian calendar is more accurate than the Gregorian calendar we use today?

 

It's true, and it actually happens to be one of the most accurate calendar systems ever created.

 

How Does the Revised Julian Calendar Work?

 

Office Work SpaceLike the Gregorian calendar, the Revised Julian calendar is meant to reflect the length of the tropical year. A tropical year factors in the actual time it takes the planet Earth to complete a full revolution around the sun. By nature, our calendar is not exact and cannot sync correctly with the revolution - which is why we have leap seconds and leap days.

 

The Revised Julian calendar, however, has a minute error of 2 seconds every year. In other words, it is remarkably accurate.

 

In comparison, the Gregorian calendar has an error of 27 seconds per year.

 

The Julian calendar is more accurate because of how it handles leap year rules. In the Revised Julian, years evenly divisible by the number 4 are considered leap years.

 

There is an exception. Any years that are also evenly divisible by 100 - and the remainder is neither 200 nor 600 after being divided by 900 - are not leap years.

 

So you see, the Julian calendar has a much more complex, and precise way to calculate leap years, which is what makes it more accurate.

 

How Come We Use the Gregorian Calendar Instead?

 

Modern Calendar AppThe Julian calendar was never meant to be a civil calendar, used for regular time and date calculations.

 

It was developed by a Serbian scientist named Milutin Milankovic, and he created it specifically for the Orthodox church. And in 1923, Greek Patriarch Meletius called for its adoption. That explains why some Orthodox churches still follow the calendar today.

 

As for why we don't switch on our own. The accuracy won't make much of a difference, at least for quite a few generations. They are totally in sync until the year 2800, when the two will differ by a day. This is because the date is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar, but not in the Revised Julian calendar.

 

On that day, it will be February 29 for the Gregorian, and March 1 for the Julian calendars.

 

Is the Revised Julian Calendar Still Used Today?

 

Several Orthodox churches continue to observe the Revised Julian calendar.

 

Churches observing the Julian calendar include:


• Albania

• Alexandria

• Antioch

• Bulgaria

• Constantinople

• Cyprus

• Czech Lands and Slovakia

• Estonia

• Greece

• Orthodox Church in America

• Romania

 

Will We Ever Adopt the Revised Julian Calendar Again?

 

Most likely not, as there's no need to do so. The Gregorian calendar is plenty accurate for our needs and it's been in use for a long time now.

 

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