The Age of George III

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The Republican Calendar: France, 24 November 1793

On 24 November 1793 the Convention approved the plan for a new calendar. The French revolutionaries had already redated the years: 22 September 1792 became the start of the Year 1 of Liberty. It was decided that the Gregorian calendar was a 'monument of slavery' that must be replaced by a rational, scientific and more 'natural' calendar. Certainly, the new calendar was more secular. Sundays and holy days no longer existed; time was decimalised so that there were ten days in each week - now called a decade. This meant that instead of having one day off in every seven, people now only had one day off in each ten. Each month comprised three decades. The year was divided into twelve months. The five days (or six in leap years) that were left over were known as the 'sans culottides' and were added on to make the year the right length. The months were renamed and the new calendar was as follows:

Republican Calendar


Gregorian Equivalent

Vendemiare vintage 22 September - 21 October
Brumaire mist/fog 22 October - 20 November
Frimaire frost 21 November - 20 December
Nivose snow 21 December - 19 January
Pluviose rain 20 January - 18 February
Ventose wind 19 February - 20 March
Germinal seedtime 21 March - 19 April
Floreal blossom 20 April - 19 May
Prarial meadow 20 May - 18 June
Messidor harvest 19 June - 18 July
Thermidor heat 19 July - 17 August
Fructidor fruit 18 August - 16 September

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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