How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement |
[i] Use leap months. In the traditional Chinese and Jewish calendars most years have 12 months, but some have a 13th month. In these luni-solar calendars the length of the year varies from 354 to 384 days.
[ii] Define 12 synodic lunar months to be a year and don't worry about the length of the year. This is the solution of the Islamic calendar. Since the Islamic year has only 354 or 355 days, its length does not match the cycle of the seasons.
[iii] Observe the solar year and let the months be 12 arbitrary periods; don't worry about the Moon. This is the solution adopted by Julius Caesar, who established the civil calendar we use today. In this calendar, all months have 30 or 31 days except the second month, February. February has 28 days in ordinary years and 29 in leap years. See also year [2].
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All material in this folder is copyright © 2008 by Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Permission is granted for personal use and for use by individual teachers in conducting their own classes. All other rights reserved. You are welcome to make links to this page, but please do not copy the contents of any page in this folder to another site. The material at this site will be updated from time to time.
Checked and revised November 20, 2001