Advertisement

French Republican Calendar

From Academic Kids

History of France
series
Gaul
Franks
Middle Ages
Ancien Régime
French Revolution
Causes
Estates-General
National Assembly
Storming of the Bastille
National Constituent
Assembly
(1, 2, 3)
Legislative Assembly
and fall of the monarchy
National Convention
and Reign of Terror
Directory
Consulate
Related: Glossary,
Timeline, Wars,
List of people,
List of historians
First Empire
Restoration
Second Republic
Second Empire
Third Republic
Modern France

The French Republican Calendar or French Revolutionary Calendar is a calendar proposed during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about twelve years from late 1793.

It was designed by the politician and agronomist Charles Gilbert Romme, although it is usually attributed to Fabre d'Églantine, who invented the names of the months. The calendar was adopted by the Jacobin-controlled National Convention on 24 October 1793.

Years appear in writing as Roman numerals (usually), counted from the beginning of the 'Republican Era', 22 September 1792 (the day the French First Republic was proclaimed, one day after the Convention abolished the monarchy). As a result, the calendar is based on a date one year before it was actually adopted. The first day of each year included the autumnal equinox. There were twelve months, each divided into three ten-day weeks called décades. The five or six extra days needed to approximate the tropical year were placed after the months at the end of each year. Each day was divided into ten hours, each hour into 100 decimal minutes and each decimal minute had 100 decimal seconds. Clocks were manufactured to display decimal time, but it did not catch on and was officially abandoned in 1795, although some cities continued to use decimal time as late as 1801.

Sunday or the Sabbath was reintroduced by the Concordat of 1801, effective Easter Sunday, 18 April 1802.

Napoléon finally abolished the calendar effective 1 January 1806 (the day after 10 nivôse an XIV), a little over twelve years after its introduction. However, it was used again during the brief Paris Commune in 1871 (year LXXIX).

Many conversion tables and programs exist, largely created by genealogists. Some enthusiasts in France still use the calendar, more out of historical re-enactment than practicality.

Some legal texts that were adopted when the Republican Calendar was official are still in force in France and have kept their original dates for citation purposes.

Contents

Criticism and shortcomings of the calendar

Leap years in the calendar are a point of great dispute, due to the contradicting statements requiring the year to start at the autumnal equinox while adding a leap day every 4 years (like the Gregorian calendar). The years III, VII, and XI were observed as leap years, and the years XV and XX were also planned as such.

A fixed arithmetic rule for determining leap years was proposed in the name of the Committee of Public Instruction by Gilbert Romme on 19 Floréal An III (8 May 1795). The proposed rule was to determine leap years by applying the rules of the Gregorian calendar to the years of the French Republic (years IV, VIII, XII, etc. were to be leap years) except that year 4000 (the last year of ten 400-year periods) should be a common year instead of a leap year. Because this proposal was never adopted, the original astronomical rule continued, which excluded any other fixed arithmetic rule. The proposal was intended to avoid uncertain future leap years caused by the inaccurate astronomical knowledge of the 1790s (even today, this statement is still valid due to the uncertainty in ΔT). In particular, the committee noted that the true equinox of year 144 was predicted to occur at "11:59:40 Template:PM", which was closer to midnight than its inherent 3 to 4 minute uncertainty.

The calendar was abolished because having a ten-day work week gave workers less rest (one day off every ten instead of one day off every seven); because the equinox was a mobile date to start every new year (a fantastic source of confusion for almost everybody); and because it was incompatible with the secular rhythms of trade fairs and agricultural markets.

Perhaps the most famous date in this calendar was immortalised by Karl Marx in the title of his pamphlet, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoléon (1852). The 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799) is considered the end of French Revolution. Another famous revolutionary date is 9 Thermidor, the date the Convention turned against Robespierre, who, along with others associated with the Mountain, was guillotined the following day. (See Glossary of the French Revolution for other significant dates under this calendar.)

Emile Zola's novel Germinal takes its name from the calendar, as does the dish, Lobster Thermidor.

The months

The Republican calendar year began at the autumn equinox and had twelve months of 30 days each, which were given new names based on nature:

Note that the English names are approximate, as most of the month names were new words coined from similar French, Latin or Greek words. The endings of the names are grouped by season.

In England, people against the Revolution mocked the calendar by calling the months: Wheezy, Sneezy and Freezy; Slippy, Drippy and Nippy; Showery, Flowery and Bowery; Wheaty, Heaty and Sweety.

The ten days of the week

The month is divided into three 'weeks' of ten days each, named simply:

  • primidi (English: first day)
  • duodi (English: second day)
  • tridi (English: third day)
  • quartidi (English: fourth day)
  • quintidi (English: fifth day)
  • sextidi (English: sixth day)
  • septidi (English: seventh day)
  • octidi (English: eighth day)
  • nonidi (English: ninth day)
  • décadi (English: tenth day)

The days of the year

Instead of most days having a saint as in the Catholic Church's calendar, each day has a plant, a tool or an animal associated with it.

Autumn

Vendémiaire
(Sep 22 ~ Oct 21)

  1. Ravin (English: Ravine)
  2. Safran (English: Saffron)
  3. Châtaigne (English: Chestnut)
  4. Colchique (English: Crocus)
  5. Cheval (English: Horse)
  6. Balsamine (English: Balsamine)
  7. Carotte (English: Carrot)
  8. Amarante (English: Amaranth)
  9. Panais (English: Parnship)
  10. Cuve (English: Barrell)
  11. Pomme de terre (English: Potato)
  12. Immortelle (English: Everlasting flower)
  13. Potiron (English: Pumpkin)
  14. Réséda (English: Mignonette)
  15. Âne (English: Donkey)
  16. Belle de nuit (English: Beautiful of Night, a flower)
  17. Citrouille (English: Pumpkin)
  18. Sarrasin (English: Buckwheat)
  19. Tournesol (English: Sunflower)
  20. Pressoir (English: Wine-Press)
  21. Chanvre (English: Hemp)
  22. Pêche (English: Peach)
  23. Navet (English: Turnip)
  24. Amaryllis
  25. Boeuf (English: Beef)
  26. Aubergine
  27. Piment (English: Chile Pepper)
  28. Tomate (English: Tomato)
  29. Orge (English: Barley)
  30. Tonneau (English: Barrel)

Brumaire
(Oct 22 ~ Nov 20)

  1. Pomme (English: Apple )
  2. Céleri (English: Celery )
  3. Poire (English: Pear)
  4. Betterave (English:Beet root)
  5. Oie (English: Goose)
  6. Héliotrope
  7. Figue
  8. Scorsonère (English: Black Salsify)
  9. Alisier (English: Chequer-tree)
  10. Charrue (English: Plough)
  11. Salsifis
  12. Macre
  13. Topinambour (English: Jerusalem Artichoke)
  14. Endive
  15. Dindon (English: Turkey)
  16. Chervis (English: Skirret)
  17. Cresson (English: Watercress )
  18. Dentelaire (English: Leadworts)
  19. Grenade (English: Pomegranate)
  20. Herse (English: Harrow)
  21. Bacchante (Priestess of the Greek god Bacchus)
  22. Azerole (English: Acerola)
  23. Garance (English: Madder)
  24. Orange (English: Orange)
  25. Faisan (English: Pheasant)
  26. Pistache (English: Pistachio)
  27. Mahjonc
  28. Coing (English: Quince)
  29. Cormier (English: Service tree)
  30. Rouleau (English: Roller)

Frimaire
(Nov 21 ~ Dec 20)

  1. Raiponce (English: Mignonette)
  2. Turneps (English: Turnip)
  3. Chicorée (English: Chicory)
  4. Nèfle (English: Medlar)
  5. Cochon (English: Pig)
  6. Mâche (English: Corn Salad)
  7. Chou-fleur (English: Cauliflower)
  8. Miel (English: Honey)
  9. Genièvre (English: Juniper)
  10. Pioche (English:Pick)
  11. Cire (English:Wax)
  12. Raifort (English:Horseradish)
  13. Cèdre (English:Cedar tree)
  14. Sapin (English:Fir tree)
  15. Chevreuil (English:Roe Deer)
  16. Ajonc (English:Gorse)
  17. Cyprès (English:Cypress Tree)
  18. Lierre (English:Ivy )
  19. Sabine (English: Juniper)
  20. Hoyau (English: Grub-hoe)
  21. Erable sucré (English:Maple Tree)
  22. Bruyère (English:Heather)
  23. Roseau (English:Reed plant)
  24. Oseille (English:Sorrel)
  25. Grillon (English:Cricket)
  26. Pignon (English: pinion tool)
  27. Liège (English:cork)
  28. Truffe (English:Truffle)
  29. Olive (English:Olive)
  30. Pelle (English:shovel)

Winter

Nivôse
(Dec 21 ~ Jan 19)

  1. Tourbe (English: Peat)
  2. Houille (English:Coal)
  3. Bitume (English:Bitumen)
  4. Soufre (English:Sulphur)
  5. Chien (English:Dog)
  6. Lave (English: Wash basin)
  7. Terre végétale (English: Topsoil)
  8. Fumier (English:Manure)
  9. Salpêtre (English:Saltpeter)
  10. Fléau (English: Scourge)
  11. Granit (English: Granite stone)
  12. Argile (English: Clay)
  13. Ardoise (English: Slate)
  14. Grès (English: Sandstone)
  15. Lapin (English:Rabbit)
  16. Silex (English: Flint)
  17. Marne
  18. Pierre à chaux (English: Limestone)
  19. Marbre (English: Marble)
  20. Van (English: Horse Carriage)
  21. Pierre à plâtre (English: Plaster Of Paris)
  22. Sel (English: Salt)
  23. Fer (English: Iron)
  24. Cuivre (English: Copper)
  25. Chat (English: Cat)
  26. Étain (English: Tin)
  27. Plomb (English: Lead)
  28. Zinc (English: Zinc)
  29. Mercure (English:Mercury metal)
  30. Crible (English:Sieve)

Pluviôse
(Jan 20 ~ Feb 18)

  1. Lauréole (English: Laurel)
  2. Mousse (English: Moss)
  3. Fragon (English: Butcher's Broom)
  4. Perce-neige (English:Snowdrop)
  5. Taureau (English:Bull)
  6. Laurier thym (English: Thyme)
  7. Amadouvier (English: Tinder polypore)
  8. Mézéréon (English: Mezerion tree)
  9. Peuplier (English:Poplar Tree)
  10. Coignée (English: Axe)
  11. Ellébore (English: Hellebore)
  12. Brocoli (English:Broccoli)
  13. Laurier (English:Laurel Plant)
  14. Avelinier (English: Cob or filbert)
  15. Vache (English: Cow)
  16. Buis (English:Box Tree)
  17. Lichen (English:Lichen)
  18. If (English:Yew tree)
  19. Pulmonaire (English:Lung)
  20. Serpette (English:Billhook)
  21. Thlaspi (English: Pennycress)
  22. Thimele
  23. Chiendent (English:Couch Grass)
  24. Trainasse (English: Knotweed)
  25. Lièvre (English:Hare)
  26. Guède (English: Woad)
  27. Noisetier (English: Hazel)
  28. Cyclamen
  29. Chélidoine (English: Chelidonium)
  30. Traîneau (English: Sleigh)

Ventôse
(Feb 19 ~ Mar 20)

  1. Tussilage
  2. Cornouiller (English: Dogwood)
  3. Violier
  4. Troène (English: Privet)
  5. Bouc (English:Billygoat)
  6. Asaret (English: Wild Ginger)
  7. Alaterne
  8. Violette (English: Violet Plant)
  9. Marceau
  10. Bêche (English: Spade)
  11. Narcisse
  12. Orme (English:Elm Tree)
  13. Fumeterre (Common fumitory)
  14. Vélar (English: Hedge Mustard)
  15. Chèvre (English:Goat)
  16. Épinard (English:Spinach)
  17. Doronic (English: Large-flowered leopard's bane)
  18. Mouron (English: Pimpernel)
  19. Cerfeuil (English: Chervil)
  20. Cordeau (English: Twine)
  21. Mandragore (English: Mandrake)
  22. Persil (English: Parsley)
  23. Cochiéaria
  24. Pâquerette (English: Daisy)
  25. Thon (English: Tuna)
  26. Pissenlit (English: Dandelion)
  27. Sylve (English: Forest)
  28. Capillaire (English: Maidenhair fern)
  29. Frêne (English:Ash Tree)
  30. Plantoir (English: Dibble)

Spring

Germinal
(Mar 21 ~ Apr 19)

  1. Primevère (English: Primrose)
  2. Platane (English: Plane Tree)
  3. Asperge (English: Asparagus)
  4. Tulipe (English: Tulip)
  5. Poule (English: Hen)
  6. Bette (English: Chard Plant)
  7. Bouleau (English: Birch Tree)
  8. Jonquille (English: Daffodil)
  9. Aulne (English: Alder)
  10. Couvoir (English: Hatchery)
  11. Pervenche (English:Periwinkle)
  12. Charme (English:Ironwood)
  13. Morille (English:Morel)
  14. Hêtre (English:Beech Tree)
  15. Abeille (English:Bee)
  16. Laitue (English:Lettuce)
  17. Mélèze (English:Larch)
  18. Ciguë (English:Conium)
  19. Radis (English:Radish)
  20. Ruche (English:Hive)
  21. Gainier
  22. Romaine (English: Lettuce)
  23. Marronnier (English:Chestnut Oak)
  24. Roquette (English: Arugula or Rocket)
  25. Pigeon (English:Pigeon)
  26. Lilas (English:Lilac)
  27. Anémone (English:Anemone)
  28. Pensée (English:Pansy)
  29. Myrtille (English:Blueberry)
  30. Greffoir (English: Knife)

Floréal
(Apr 20 ~ May 19)

  1. Rose (English: Rose)
  2. Chêne (English: Oak Tree)
  3. Fougère (English: Fern)
  4. Aubépine (English: Hawthorn)
  5. Rossignol (English: Nightingale)
  6. Ancolie
  7. Muguet (English:Lily of the Valley)
  8. Champignon (English:Mushroom)
  9. Hyacinthe (English: Hyacinth)
  10. Râteau (English: Rake)
  11. Rhubarbe (English: Rhubarb)
  12. Sainfoin (English: Sainfoin)
  13. Bâton-d'or (English: Aaron's rod)
  14. Chamerops (English: Palm tree)
  15. Ver à soie (English: Silkworm)
  16. Consoude (English: Comfrey)
  17. Pimprenelle (English: Salad Burnet)
  18. Corbeille d'or (English: Alyssum)
  19. Arroche (English: Orache)
  20. Sarcloir (English: garden hoe)
  21. Statice (English: Sea lavender)
  22. Fritillaire (English: Fritillary)
  23. Bourrache (English: Borage)
  24. Valériane (English: Valerian)
  25. Carpe
  26. Fusain (English:Spindle Shrub)
  27. Civette (English: Chive)
  28. Buglosse (English: Bugloss)
  29. Sénevé (English: Wild mustard)
  30. Houlette (English: Trowel)

Prairial
(May 20 ~ Jun 18)

  1. Luzerne (English: Alfalfa)
  2. Hémérocalle (English: Daylily)
  3. Trèfle (English: Clover)
  4. Angélique (English: Angelica)
  5. Canard (English: Duck)
  6. Mélisse (English: Lemon Balm)
  7. Fromental (English: Wheat)
  8. Martagon (English: Martagon lily)
  9. Serpolet (English: Thyme plant)
  10. Faux (English: Scythe)
  11. Fraise (English: Strawberry)
  12. Bétoine (English: Woundwort)
  13. Pois (English: Pea)
  14. Acacia
  15. Caille (English: Quail)
  16. Oeillet (English:Carnation)
  17. Sureau (English: Elder Tree)
  18. Pavot (English:Poppy plant)
  19. Tilleul (English: Lime/Tilia)
  20. Fourche (English:Pitchfork)
  21. Barbeau (English: cornflower)
  22. Camomille (English:Camomile)
  23. Chèvrefeuille (English: Honeysuckle)
  24. caille-lait (English: Curds)
  25. Tanche (English: Tench)
  26. Jasmin (English: Jasmine Plant)
  27. Verveine (English: Verbena)
  28. Thym (English: Thyme Plant)
  29. Pivoine (English: Peony Plant)
  30. Chariot (English: Hand Cart)

Summer

Messidor
(Jun 19 ~ Jul 18)

  1. Seigle (English: Rye)
  2. Avoine (English: Oats)
  3. Oignon (English: Onion)
  4. Véronique (English: Speedwell)
  5. Mulet (English: Mule)
  6. Romarin (English: Rosemary)
  7. Concombre (English: Cucumber)
  8. Echalote (English: Shallot)
  9. Absinthe (English: Wormwood)
  10. Faucille (English: Sickle)
  11. Coriandre (English: Coriander)
  12. Artichaut (English:Artichoke)
  13. Girofle (English: Clove)
  14. Lavande (English: Lavender)
  15. Chamois
  16. Tabac (English: Tobacco)
  17. Groseille (English: Currant)
  18. Gesse (English: Hairy vetchling)
  19. Cerise (English: Cherry)
  20. Parc (English: Park)
  21. Menthe (English: Mint)
  22. Cumin (English: Cumin)
  23. Haricot (English: Bean)
  24. Orcanète
  25. Pintade (English: Guinea fowl)
  26. Sauge (English: Sage Plant)
  27. Ail (English: Garlic)
  28. Vesce (English: Tare)
  29. Blé (English: Wheat)
  30. Chalémie (English: Chalemie)

Thermidor
(Jul 19 ~ Aug 17)

  1. Epeautre (English: German Wheat)
  2. Bouillon blanc (English: Common Mullein)
  3. Melon (English: Honeydew Melon)
  4. Ivraie (English: Ryegrass)
  5. Bélier (English: Ram)
  6. Prêle (English: horse-tail)
  7. Armoise (English: Mugwort)
  8. Carthame (English: Safflower)
  9. Mûre (English: Blackberry)
  10. Arrosoir (English: Watering Can)
  11. Panis (English: Bread)
  12. Salicorne (English: Common Glasswort)
  13. Abricot (English: Apricot)
  14. Basilic (English: Basil)
  15. Brebis (English: Ewe)
  16. Guimauve (English: Marshmellow)
  17. Lin (English: Flax)
  18. Amande (English: Almond)
  19. Gentiane (English: Gentian)
  20. Lock (English: Lock)
  21. Carline (English: Carline thistle
  22. Câprier (English: Caper)
  23. Lentille (English: Lentil)
  24. Aunée (English: Yellow starwort)
  25. Loutre (English: Otter)
  26. Myrte (English: Myrtle)
  27. Colza (English: Alfalfa)
  28. Lupin
  29. Coton (English: Cotton)
  30. Moulin (English: Mill)

Fructidor
(Aug 18 ~ Sep 16)

  1. Prune (English: Plum)
  2. Millet
  3. Lycoperdon (English: Puffball)
  4. Escourgeon (English: Barley)
  5. Saumon (English: Salmon)
  6. Tubéreuse
  7. Sucrion
  8. Apocyn (English: Apocynum)
  9. Réglisse (English: Liquorice)
  10. Echelle (English: Stepladder)
  11. Pastèque (English: Watermelon)
  12. Fenouil (English: Fennel)
  13. Epine vinette (English: Barberry)
  14. Noix (English: Walnut)
  15. Truite (English: Trout)
  16. Citron (English: lemon]]
  17. Cardère
  18. Nerprun (English: Buckthorn)
  19. Tagette
  20. Hotte (English: Sack)
  21. Eglantier (English: Wild Rose)
  22. Noisette
  23. Houblon (English: Hops)
  24. Sorgho (English: Sorghum)
  25. Ecrevisse (English: Crayfish)
  26. Bigarade (English: Bitter Orange)
  27. Verge d'or (English: Goldenrod)
  28. Maïs (English: Maize)
  29. Marron (English: Chestnut)
  30. Panier (English: Basket)

Extra days

Five extra days (six in leap years) were national holidays at the end of every year. These were originally known as les sans-culottides (after sans-culottes), but after year III (1795) as les jours complémentaires:

External links

es:Calendario republicano francés eo:Franca Respublika Kalendaro fr:Calendrier républicain io:Revoluciono-kalendario it:Calendario rivoluzionario francese he:לוח השנה המהפכני בצרפת nl:Franse Republikeinse Kalender ja:フランス革命暦 pl:Francuski kalendarz rewolucyjny ru:Французский республиканский календарь sv:Franska revolutionskalendern uk:Французький революційний календар wa:Calindrî republikin zh:共和曆

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools