As I was teaching my son about the calendar, he hit me with what I thought was an easy question. It has been two days and we need a referee. Why do the months have 30 or 31 days, except for February which only has 28? I tried to explain the seasons, the moon tides, and even the existence of the Romans, but nothing made sense. Please help us!
Dear Calendar Confusion,
I can see why your Miniature Human is confused since the standard answer makes absolutely no sense at all. The only reason adults accept this bizarre calendar countdown is due to fatigue. At some point, daily nap times were revoked and the schools used your newfound exhaustion to their advantage.
Those school days start at dawn for a reason.
Before I divulge the answer to your question, allow me to take you on a brief tour of the history of the calendar. Once just 10 months long, the calendar was quite evenly divided into a uniform number of days. Unfortunately, about 60 days were unaccounted for each year, causing chaos as time went on.
Imagine Halloween falling in the month of January – utterly preposterous!
The initial lackadaisical approach to the calendar, and its resulting mayhem, led the Romans to add two additional months to the year. Everything seemed to be working well… for a time. Terrible pun intended. Then came the dreaded leap year. Another flurry of irrational decision making ensued in a bid to sort out the annual calendar once and for all. Absurdly, the months of January and February were pulled from the end of the year and reassigned to lead the way on the new calendar. They were plonked there as if no one would object to the radical change. I guess the fear of being eaten by lions in the colosseum was more effective than our modern punishments. Due to a few untimely deaths over two thousand years ago, the calendar was more or less frozen in time in our current format. Another terrible pun intended. I could do this all day.
The arbitrary number of days in each month is a lingering honor to ancient leaders.
Fast-forward to modern day and the calendar struggle continues. A large group of people rationalize the calendar pandemonium by pointing out the seasons and/or the moon tides dictate the number of days in each month. I will tell you that I strenuously reject that argument in its entirety! If anything, the seasonal argument actually supports evening out the number of days in each month. Those season start and end dates shift each year no matter how we divide up the calendar. We may as well make our daily life less confusing! However, I do think this faction of believers must thrive on confusion and chaos as the rest of society struggles to remember the tricks of how many days are in each month.
Thus, my radical call to action.
I think each month should have 30 days across the board. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What about the other 5 days that are unaccounted for? Won’t we repeat the errors of our ancient ways?! No, because I have a plan for that as well. I say we assign December a grand total of 35 days. I think we can all agree that an extra five days to recover from the colossal Christmas feast would be beneficial to everyone. Imagine the happiness as we get 6 recovery days on the leap years!
We’ll let the experts assign the opening and closing of the seasons as they see fit.
If we’re being honest, no one pays attention to those dates and the experts need something to occupy their time or they’ll find something else to mess up for the entirety of the human population.
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