Common year

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A common year is a calendar year with 365 days, as distinguished from a leap year, which has 366. More generally, a common year is one without intercalation. The Gregorian calendar (like the earlier Julian calendar) employs both common years and leap years to keep the calendar aligned with the tropical year, which does not contain an exact number of days.

The common year of 365 days has 52 weeks and one day, hence a common year always begins and ends on the same day of the week (for example, January 1 fell on a Friday and December 31 will fall on a Friday in 2021, the current year) and the year following a common year will start on the subsequent day of the week. In common years, February has exactly four weeks, so March begins on the same day of the week. November also begins on this day.

In the Gregorian calendar, 303 of every 400 years are common years. By comparison, in the Julian calendar, 300 out of every 400 years are common years, and in the Revised Julian calendar (used by Greece) 682 out of every 900 years are common years.

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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. This may be termed a "year's time", but not a "calendar year". To reconcilie the calendar year with the astronomical cycle certain years contain extra days.

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.

A leap year is a calendar year that contains an additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or seasonal year. Because astronomical events and seasons do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have a constant number of days in each year will unavoidably drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track, such as seasons. By inserting an additional day or month into some years, the drift between a civilization's dating system and the physical properties of the solar system can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is a common year.

A common year starting on Sunday is any non-leap year that begins on Sunday, 1 January, and ends on Sunday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is A. The most recent year of such kind was 2017 and the next one will be 2023 in the Gregorian calendar, or, likewise, 2007, 2018 and 2029 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more.

A common year starting on Friday is any non-leap year that begins on Friday, 1 January, and ends on Friday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is C. 2021, the current year, is a common year starting on a Friday in the Gregorian calendar. The last such year was 2010 and the next such year will be 2027 in the Gregorian calendar, or, likewise, 2005, 2011 and 2022 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more. This common year is one of the three possible common years in which a century year can begin on, and occurs in century years that yield a remainder of 100 when divided by 400. The most recent such year was 1700 and the next one will be 2100.

A common year starting on Monday is any non-leap year that begins on Monday, 1 January, and ends on Monday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is G. The most recent year of such kind was 2018 and the next one will be 2029 in the Gregorian calendar, or likewise, 2013, 2019 and 2030 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more. This common year is one of the three possible common years in which a century year can begin on and occurs in century years that yield a remainder of 300 when divided by 400. The most recent such year was 1900 and the next one will be 2300.

Dominical letters or Sunday letters are a method used to determine the day of the week for particular dates. When using this method, each year is assigned a letter depending on which day of the week the year starts on.

A leap year starting on Sunday is any year with 366 days that begins on Sunday, 1 January, and ends on Monday, 31 December. Its dominical letters hence are AG. The most recent year of such kind was 2012 and the next one will be 2040 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 1996 and 2024 in the obsolete Julian calendar.

A common year starting on Tuesday is any non-leap year that begins on Tuesday, 1 January, and ends on Tuesday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is F. The most recent year of such kind was 2019 and the next one will be 2030, or, likewise, 2014 and 2025 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more.

Calendar reform or calendrical reform is any significant revision of a calendar system. The term sometimes is used instead for a proposal to switch to a different calendar design.

A common year starting on Wednesday is any non-leap year that begins on Wednesday, 1 January, and ends on Wednesday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is E. The most recent year of such kind was 2014, and the next one will be 2025 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 2009, 2015 and 2026 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more. This common year is one of the three possible common years in which a century year can begin on, and occurs in century years that yield a remainder of 200 when divided by 400. The most recent such year was 1800 and the next one will be 2200.

A common year starting on Saturday is any non-leap year that begins on Saturday, 1 January, and ends on Saturday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is B. The most recent year of such kind was 2011 and the next one will be 2022 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 2006, 2017 and 2023 in the obsolete Julian calendar. See below for more.

A common year starting on Thursday is any non-leap year that begins on Thursday, 1 January, and ends on Thursday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is D. The most recent year of such kind was 2015 and the next one will be 2026 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 2010 and 2021 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more.

A leap year starting on Saturday is any year with 366 days that begins on Saturday, 1 January, and ends on Sunday, 31 December. Its dominical letters hence are BA. The most recent year of such kind was 2000 and the next one will be 2028 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 2012 and 2040 in the obsolescent Julian calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, years divisible by 400 are always leap years starting on Saturday. The most recent such year was 2000 and the next one will be 2400, see below for more.

A leap year starting on Thursday is any year with 366 days that begins on Thursday 1 January, and ends on Friday 31 December. Its dominical letters hence are DC. The most recent year of such kind was 2004 and the next one will be 2032 in the Gregorian calendar or, likewise, 2016 and 2044 in the obsolete Julian calendar.

The determination of the day of the week for any date may be performed with a variety of algorithms. In addition, perpetual calendars require no calculation by the user, and are essentially lookup tables. A typical application is to calculate the day of the week on which someone was born or a specific event occurred.

Doomsday rule Way of calculating the day of the week of a given date

The Doomsday rule is an algorithm of determination of the day of the week for a given date. It provides a perpetual calendar because the Gregorian calendar moves in cycles of 400 years. The algorithm for mental calculation was devised by John Conway in 1973, drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll's perpetual calendar algorithm. It takes advantage of each year having a certain day of the week upon which certain easy-to-remember dates, called the doomsdays, fall; for example, the last day of February, 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, and 12/12 all occur on the same day of the week in any year. Applying the Doomsday algorithm involves three steps: Determination of the anchor day for the century, calculation of the anchor day for the year from the one for the century, and selection of the closest date out of those that always fall on the doomsday, e.g., 4/4 and 6/6, and count of the number of days between that date and the date in question to arrive at the day of the week. The technique applies to both the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar, although their doomsdays are usually different days of the week.

The ISO week date system is effectively a leap week calendar system that is part of the ISO 8601 date and time standard issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) since 1988 and, before that, it was defined in ISO (R) 2015 since 1971. It is used (mainly) in government and business for fiscal years, as well as in timekeeping. This was previously known as "Industrial date coding". The system specifies a week year atop the Gregorian calendar by defining a notation for ordinal weeks of the year.

A century leap year is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar that is divisible by 400 without a remainder.

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a minor modification of the Julian calendar, reducing the average year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days, and adjusting for the drift in the 'tropical' or 'solar' year that the inaccuracy had caused during the intervening centuries.