I know I said I was done with calendars, but…

I love the French Republican calendar. It has (well, had, since Napoleon abolished it in 1806) ten months with seasonal names, like Snowy, Rainy, Windy (but in French, they have the same endings: Nivôse, Pluviôse, Ventôse). Right now we’re in the month of Vendémiaire (Grape Harvest); Brumaire (Fog) and Frimaire (Frost) will follow. And you just can’t beat Thermidor, which starts in those dog days at the end of July.

Plus it’s all very metric: each of the twelve months had three ten-day weeks; each day ten hours; each hour 100 minutes; each minute – well, you can guess. Unfortunately, the solar system isn’t at all metric, so they had the same old problem of intercalculary days, added at the end of the year, and leap years, but they managed this fine for the twelve orderly years the calendar lasted.

What I love about it is that each day has its own name, but the logic breaks down here – or at least I can’t figure out why they chose the names that they did. For some reason, days ending in five are named for animals, those ending in zero for tools, and all the rest for plants or minerals. Today is Tomate, tomorrow is Orge, and Wednesday is Tonneau.
Tomato Day, Barley Day, Barrel Day.

Order descending into randomness. At least all the saints actually died on their days in the Roman Catholic calendar – well, except for the apocryphal ones, and the Gregorian conversion, and the unreliability of history, and…

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