Daily TWiP ArchivesSomething interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.
More in "Daily TWiP"
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 23: National Mole Day
- Daily TWiP - June 18: International Picnic Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30, 1859: The Great Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 1, 1761: Famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud born
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 8: National Fluffernutter Day
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 7, 1936: "Benjamin," the last thylacine, dies
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken
- Daily TWiP - April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
- Daily TWiP - April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century
- Daily TWiP - May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary
- Daily TWiP - March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner," set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem
- Daily TWiP - May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel
- Daily TWiP - May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Daily TWiP - July 22: Spoonerism Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 13: International Left-Handers' Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi
- Daily TWiP - March 10: International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris' birthday
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 30, 1954: Ann Hodges becomes the first person hit by a meteorite
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 17, 1859: Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor of the United States
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 30, 2004: First images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 27, 1896: The shortest war in recorded history is fought
- Daily TWiP - July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
- Daily TWiP - July 21, 356 B.C.: Herostratus destroys one of the Seven Wonders of the World to ensure his own fame
- Daily TWiP - May 14: National Dance Like A Chicken Day
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 26, 2004: Dead whale unexpectedly explodes in Tainan, Taiwan
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Daily TWiP – Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
Thanks to the switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, Oct. 6, 1582 technically never happened in Spain, Portugal, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or Italy. These four nations actually lost ten days, following up Thursday, Oct. 4 on the Julian calendar with Friday, Oct. 15 on the Gregorian calendar.
The aforementioned countries were the first to adopt the Gregorian calendar, which was the brainchild of the Catholic Church. At that time, the Church of Alexandria and the Church of Rome were calculating the date of Easter according to different calendars and thus celebrating the holiday on different dates. The natural drift of astronomical events like the equinox also contributed to the confusion.
The goal of the Catholic Church was to celebrate Easter at the time agreed upon at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which was the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. To accomplish this, the churches within the Catholic denomination needed to be using the same calendar.
The Gregorian calendar was essentially a reformed version of the Julian calendar, the main difference being the calculation of leap years. The Gregorian calendar has three less leap days during a 400-year period than the Julian calendar.
Although the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar, correcting it made it possible to reform the accompanying lunar calendar that was used to calculate the date of Easter. Finally, the Catholic Church hoped, everyone would be on the same page, including those in other Christian denominations.
It took several centuries. Since this was a decision made by the Catholic Church, the switch was only required in the Catholic Church and had to be approved by civic authorities in each country before it could be implemented outside the church.
Spain, Portugal, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Italy were predominantly Catholic countries, and were therefore the first to jump on the Gregorian bandwagon. Countries that were non-Christian or predominantly Protestant or Eastern Orthodox were not quite so enthusiastic, but ultimately followed suit. Greece, for example, finally adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1923.
Although the Gregorian calendar is now the international mainstay when it comes to business and civic life, many Eastern Orthodox nations maintain their own calendars for religious purposes, celebrating Easter according to their own calculations.
The Gregorian calendar may not have accomplished its goal of having all Christians celebrate Easter at the same time, but it definitely narrowed things down a bit. Two Easters are much less confusing than, say, 37.
– Teresa Santoski
Originally published Oct. 6, 2010.