Calendar Myths

I am pretty sick of the calendar urban myth that keeps getting passed around on Facebook. The one that says, “This only happens once every 823 years.”

Hogwash.

Think about it.

A calendar year only has 7 possible starting days. January 1 can be a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. That’s it.

Now, if (as in 2014) January 1 is a Wednesday, then August 1 will be on a Friday, and since August has 31 days, we will end up with 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays in August. This will be true in every year that has January 1 on a Wednesday. Since a year has 365 days (which is 52×7 + 1), each year moves January 1 ahead one. Thus, if 2014 starts on a Wednesday, then 2015 will start on a Thursday, etc. In a perfect world this means that every 7 years would have an August with 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays.

Most of you are already pointing out a flaw in my logic. Leap years. Yes, that does mess us up by pushing the following January ahead 2 days. Let’s create a list.

Starting days of the year.

2014 – Wednesday
2015 – Thursday
2016 – Friday
2017 – Sunday
2018 – Monday
2019 – Tuesday
2020 – Wednesday
2021 – Friday
2022 – Saturday
2023 – Sunday
2024 – Monday
2025 – Wednesday

Aha. 2020 starts on a Wednesday. Yes, but August 1 is a Saturday that year because February has 29 days, which pushes all days after it ahead 2 instead of 1. Thus the next August with this awesome 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo will be in 2025. Not 823 years from now.

Not everything you read online is true. Do a little research before blindly sharing junk like this 823 year thing.

p.s. # 1
There are only 14 possible layouts for an entire year, since January 1 has only 7 possible starts, and the year is either a leap year or a non-leap year.

p.s. # 2
2015 will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in May

p.s. # 3
a non-leap year that starts on a …
Sunday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in December
Monday NOT have any 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combos !!!
Tuesday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in March
Wednesday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in August
Thursday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in May
Friday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in January and October
Saturday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in July

p.s. # 4
a leap year that starts on a …
Sunday will NOT have any 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combos !!!
Monday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in March
Tuesday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in August
Wednesday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in May
Thursday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in October
Friday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in both January and July
Saturday will have a 5 Friday/Saturday/Sunday combo in December

p.s. # 5
starting day of a year and leap or not
Jan 1, 2014 Wed non-leap
Jan 1, 2015 Thu non-leap
Jan 1, 2016 Fri leap
Jan 1, 2017 Sun non-leap
Jan 1, 2018 Mon non-leap
Jan 1, 2019 Tue non-leap
Jan 1, 2020 Wed leap
Jan 1, 2021 Fri non-leap
Jan 1, 2022 Sat non-leap
Jan 1, 2023 Sun non-leap
Jan 1, 2024 Mon leap
Jan 1, 2025 Wed non-leap
Jan 1, 2026 Thu non-leap
Jan 1, 2027 Fri non-leap
Jan 1, 2028 Sat leap
Jan 1, 2029 Mon non-leap
Jan 1, 2030 Tue non-leap
Jan 1, 2031 Wed non-leap
Jan 1, 2032 Thu leap
Jan 1, 2033 Sat non-leap
Jan 1, 2034 Sun non-leap
Jan 1, 2035 Mon non-leap
Jan 1, 2036 Tue leap

2014 calendar

One Comment

  1. Edward C. says:

    This is one of the most comprehensive debunkings I’ve seen of this maddening hoax. Well done. I have a special hatred for this hoax because TWO people sent me the October 2010 version on my 40th birthday, which was in that month.

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