The 8 Month Calendar Project

My mind tends to wander in strange directions sometimes. One day I was thinking about calendars. Humans have been keeping some type of calendar for thousands of years. These ancient calendars were generally based on the phases of the moon or the earths’ rotation around the sun and helped primarily with planting crops, planning festivals, and observing religious events.

I did some research on calendars and was surprised of the number of different calendars that are still in use today, as well as the complexity involved in creating and maintaining these calendars. 

The calendar we are most familiar with today is the Gregorian calendar. This was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th century and improved on the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. The Julian calendar had 365 day 12 months with an extra day added in February every 4 years. The Julian calendar was fairly accurate. A solar year (the time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun) is 365.2422 days long not 365.25. It’s a small difference that compounds over time, causing the Julian calendar to overestimate by about 1 day per century. The Gregorian calendar helped stop the year from drifting away from the solstice and equinox by using a more accurate calculation for determining leap years: Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the years 1600 and 2000 are.

To really appreciate the relative simplicity of the Gregorian calendar, here are some examples of other calendars still in use today: 

The Chinese and the Hebrew calendars use a leap month to adjust their calendar. Their year can range from 353 to 385 days.

The Hindu and Buddist calendars use both leap days and leap months to adjust their calendars with the year ranging from 354 to 385 days.

When making my calendar, I used the Gregorian calendar as the base, but break down the months differently to better match the seasons. The standard 4 seasons were too broad in my mind so I settled on 8 months. Fitting my activities to the natural seasonal patterns provides a good variety of different activities and I can enjoy the current moment knowing that the time will come for future projects, just not now. You don’t plant your crops in the winter, for example. Do winter-centric activities at that time, spring will come soon enough. Obviously this applies to other activities as well, farming is just an easy example. We all have varying amounts of energy and motivation, much of it seasonally related whether we like it or not. After expending a lot of energy, we need time to ‘recharge’. The months of Solis and Celebro are the time to do this without feeling guilty.

Here is my Official 8 Month Calendar

MonthDatesDescription and Activities
Cogitare (Think)1/1/2021 – 2/16/2021This is the time to reflect on the past year, and plan for this year.
Get out and enjoy winter activities as well.
Novus (New)2/17/2021 – 3/29/2021This is the time to start on the new projects planned last month.
Planning is done, time for action.
Vita (Life)3/30/2021 – 5/15/2021Winter is over, things are coming to life.
Prepare your garden, clean up from winter, get outside.
Put more effort into your projects.
Hortus (Garden)5/16/2021 – 7/2/2021 Time for planting and growing with the longer days.
Take advantage of your energy to accomplish as much as possible.
Solis (Maximum Sun)7/3/2021 – 8/25/2021This is the time for rest and relaxation, enjoy the summer weather.
Prepare projects for ‘harvest’ next month. 
Messis (Harvest)8/26/2021 – 10/10/2021 The growing season is winding down, time to harvest.
Implement your projects and work thru the inevitable challenges that always occur.
Get outside to take advantage of the cooler weather.
Venari (Hunt)10/11/2021 – 11/20/2021 It is time to prepare for the coming winter, put away summer items,
and pull out winter items.
Review your project list and put in more effort on projects that are languishing.
Celebro (Celebrate)11/21/2021 – 12/31/2021This is the time for charity and goodwill to others and celebrations with family and friends.
Tie up any loose ends on projects that are still in progress.