Holidays part deux

The moon is half full in the evening sky, setting around midnight, which means that it's been about a week since the lunar holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Eid.  (The origin of the seven-day week may be related to the four phases of the moon.)  Soon there will be more holidays.  The tenth day of the Jewish month Tishri is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which begins at sundown on Friday, 17 September (55456/7).  Last year, Stephen Colbert played my wife calling his "Atone Phone" on his show.  Shame on you, Stephen, shame on you!

17 September is also the first Complementary Day of the French Republican Calendar.  Since each Republican month had thirty days, and there are 365 and a fraction days in an average year, there are five or six days left over, which were called Complementary Days, or Sancolotides. Here are the names of the Complementary Days this year:
  1. 17 Sept.: Virtu (virtue)
  2. 18 Sept.: Génie (skill)
  3. 19 Sept.: Travail (work)
  4. 20 Sept.: l'Opinion (opinion)
  5. 21 Sept.: Récompenses (awards)
  6. 22 Sept.: Révolution (revolution)
Note that the sixth (sextile) day is a leap day, which occurs because there are 366 days in between this year's and last year's equinoxes.  Those who use a fixed rule to determine leap years do not recognize that there is a leap day this year, and observe Wednesday, 22 September, as the first day of the year CCXIX (219) and of the month of Vendémiaire.  Those who follow the original rule of equinoxes observe the new year on Thursday, 23 September, since the equinox occurs 3.435 hours, or 1.43 decimal hours, after apparent midnight in Paris on this day.

There should be a beautiful full moon this new year!

MJD 55455.479
Decadi 30 Fructidor an CCXVIII à 4hd 85md t.m.P.


  1. I can't wait for the event. So today is 0218.SC.02 in the French Calendar in which SC means Sancolotides (2010.09.18-Sa) (It's still the 17th as of post in my area) so it's the day of skill (jour de Génie) in which we are 5 days away from the new French Republican year! Whoo hoo! :D =^_^= Must get some party hats and noisemakers cuz it'll be a blast!

  2. The word "skill" was my own translation. Most translate the meaning as Day of Talent, but génie is translated variously as genius or engineering, and seeing how it is commonly used in French, it seemed to me that "skill" is closer than "talent" to the intended meaning, being something that is gained through education and practice at a profession, rather than something innate. "Craft" was another term that occurred to me.

    Likewise, travail is usually translated as "labour", but this has a French cognate that could have been used. The English word "travail" means "burdensome work" or "toil", but I think that here it has a more positive connotation, as in a celebration of hard work, so simply "work" seemed to work.

    Virtu and l'Opinion are obvious, although some translate the latter as "choice". Récompenses is translated as "awards", as I wrote it, but perhaps "rewards" would be better.

    All these are typically called fêtes, which could be translated as "feast", "festival" or simply "day", similar to feast days of saints. However, sometimes they are called jours or "days" in French.

    I cannot find an original source and I do not speak French, which makes it difficult to determine the precise intent.