Calendar year

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Generally speaking, a calendar year begins on the New Year's Day of the given calendar system and ends on the day before the following New Year's Day, and thus consists of a whole number of days. A year can also be measured by starting on any other named day of the calendar, and ending on the day before this named day in the following year. [1] This may be termed a "year's time", but not a "calendar year". To reconcilie the calendar year with the astronomical cycle (which has a fractional number of days) certain years contain extra days ("leap days" or "intercalary days").


The Gregorian year, which is in use in most of the world, begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. It has a length of 365 days in an ordinary year, with 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds; but 366 days in a leap year, with 8,784 hours, 527,040 minutes, or 31,622,400 seconds. With 97 leap years every 400 years, the year has an average length of 365.2425 days. Other formula-based calendars can have lengths which are further out of step with the solar cycle: for example, the Julian calendar has an average length of 365.25 days, and the Hebrew calendar has an average length of 365.2468 days. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days.

The astronomer's mean tropical year, which is averaged over equinoxes and solstices, is currently 365.24219 days, slightly shorter than the average length of the year in most calendars, but the astronomer's value changes over time, so John Herschel's suggested correction to the Gregorian calendar may become unnecessary by the year 4000.


The calendar year can be divided into four quarters, often abbreviated as Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.

In Gregorian calendar:

While in the Chinese calendar, the quarters are traditionally associated with the 4 seasons of the year:

See also

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A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a physical record of such a system. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a partly or fully chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills.

Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in AUC 708, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January AUC 709 , by edict. It was designed with the aid of Greek mathematicians and Greek astronomers such as Sosigenes of Alexandria.

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Metonic cycle

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The World Calendar is a proposed reform of the Gregorian calendar created by Elisabeth Achelis of Brooklyn, New York in 1930.

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  1. "calendar year". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 6 August 2014.