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Frequently Asked Questions about Calendars
Version 2.3

Claus Tøndering

25 September 2000


Copyright and disclaimer

This document is Copyright ©2000 by Claus Tøndering.
The document may be freely distributed, provided this copyright notice is included and no money is charged for the document.

This document is provided ``as is''. No warranties are made as to its correctness.


This is the calendar FAQ. Its purpose is to give an overview of the Christian, Hebrew, and Islamic calendars in common use. It will provide a historical background for the Christian calendar, plus an overview of the French Revolutionary calendar, the Maya calendar, and the Chinese calendar.

Comments are very welcome. My e-mail address is given above.

I would like to thank for their help with this document.

Changes since version 2.2

A few minor corrections have been made, the most interesting being the new algorithm in section 5.8.

Writing dates and years

Dates will be written in the British format (1 January) rather than the American format (January 1). Dates will occasionally be abbreviated: ``1 Jan'' rather than ``1 January''.

Years before and after the ``official'' birth year of Christ will be written ``45 BC'' or ``AD 1997'', respectively. I prefer this notation over the secular ``45 BCE'' and ``1997 CE'' (See also section 2.13.4.)

The `mod' operator

Throughout this document the operator `mod' will be used to signify the modulo or remainder operator. For example, $17 \bmod 7=3$ because the result of the division 17/7 is 2 with a remainder of 3.

The text in square brackets

Square brackets [like this] identify information that I am unsure about and about which I would like more information. Please write me at

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