Calendario della Rivoluzione Francese
Calendario perpetuo repubblicano del secolo XVIII, in uso durante la Rivoluzione Francese (Parigi, Musée Carnavalet). Foto: IGDA / G. Dagli Orti.

La rivoluzione francese cambiò molte cose nella vita dei cittadini francesi. Tra queste il calendario che rimase in vigore dal 24 novembre 1793 fino al 1 gennaio 1806. Fu ripristinato nel 1871 per un breve periodo durante l’esperienza della Comune di Parigi.

Il nuovo calendario francese portò ad una riforma radicale e diede inizio a un nuovo computo degli anni partendo dalla data della fondazione della Prima Repubblica francese, il 22 settembre 1792, che divenne il giorno 1 del mese Vendemmiaio dell’anno 1 della Repubblica.

Il capodanno doveva sempre coincidere con l’equinozio di autunno, che poteva cadere in una data compresa fra il 22 e il 24 settembre.

Così, il capodanno degli anni 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 e 7 cadde rispettivamente il 22 settembre 1792, 1793, 1794, 1796, 1797 e 1798. Quello degli anni 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 e 14 fu rispettivamente il 23 settembre 1795, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1804 e 1805. Il capodanno dell’anno 12 fu invece il 24 settembre 1803.
In quel periodo furono considerati bisestili (dunque con 366 giorni) gli anni 3, 7 e 11, e avrebbero dovuto esserlo anche gli anni 15 e 20. lo scopo era sempre quello di mantenere il capodanno lo stesso giorno dell’equinozio di autunno.

Gli anni erano composti di 365 o 366 giorni (quelli bisestili), suddivisi in 12 mesi di 30 giorni ciascuno più 5 o 6 giorni aggiuntivi.

I nomi dei mesi erano:

Vendémiaire (Vendemmiaio) 7. Germinal (Germinale o Germile)
Brumaire (Brumaio) 8. Floréal (Floreale o Florile)
Frimaire (Frimaio) 9. Prairial (Pratile)
Nivose (Nevoso) 10. Messidor (Messidoro)
Pluviose (Piovoso) 11. Thermidor (Termidoro)
Ventose (Ventoso) 12. Fructidor (Fruttidoro)

Non vi erano più le settimane di 7 giorni, ma ogni mese era diviso in 3 decadi di 10 giorni ciascuna, di cui l’ultimo era di riposo. Ogni giorno si divideva in 10 ore. Ciascuna ora contava 100 minuti primi e ogni minuto 100 secondi.

Al termine dell’ultimo mese, Fruttidoro, facevano seguito i 5 giorni aggiuntivi (6 negli anni bisestili), che si chiamavano, nell’ordine, Giorno della virtù, Giorno del genio, Giorno del lavoro, Giorno della ragione, Giorno delle ricompense e Giorno della Rivoluzione (negli anni bisestili).


Il calendario Gregoriano
Il calendario nell’antico Egitto

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