Member Rara Avis
Mumbai, India : now in Belgium
From what I have been told... in olden days there used to be a year made of 10 months...
It was all quite perfect until Augustus thought (or approved his follower's suggestion) that their should be a month named after him.. and hence the month August was created...
Julius Caesar who came after Augustus, thought if Augustus was great enough for a place in the yearly calendar, so was he... and hence created July. The month was placed before August, since Julius thought he was greater than Augustus and hence should have his name before Augustus... and also the same no. of days if not more... so the no. of days in different months were manipulated so the two months had 31 days each...
Also, I have so heard and understood that 25th December was so chosen to celebrate because it marked the beginning of lengthening of the day... now, this fits because most (or all) Christians used to live in Europe, where the effect of short and long days was literal... and dependant on the time of sunrise and sunset...
With the spread of christianity, principly because of migration to places like the Americas and Australasia, the winter months, the summer months, the lengthening or shortening effects lost effect, but the celebration of the day remained... The b-day of Jesus happened to be on the particular day and hence there was a second cause for celebration...
Today, Christmas is probably one of the biggest marketing stunts other than perhaps Valentine's day (which is said to mark the birthday of St. Valentine)...
Well, most of all this is collected from stories I have heard, so feel free to correct me.
P.S. while you/we are at it, why don't you/we think of a way to rename the weekdays (and why only 7?)
P.P.S. I believe that the no. of days in a year are based on the solar cycle and that in a week are all based on lunar cycle.. right?
[This message has been edited by Sudhir Iyer (12-24-2002 03:54 AM).]