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The Natural New Year Correction

Don't add the February 29 for the next 10 leap years and shift the New Year to coincide with Winter Solstice, where it rightfully should belong.
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(+6, -2)
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The natural cycle of a year, in terms of length of the day, consists of a minimum and a maximum length of a day.

Although it seems that we intended to begin year at the minimum point, but someone who started the calendar made a mistake. The winter solstice generally occurs at December 21. So, here is the way to correct it:

Don't include the February 29th for the next 10 leap years. Nothing else would change, except for Winter Solstice occuring at December the 31st, January the 1st being the first day that's longer than the minimum, and overall slight 10 days change in weather. The Merry Christmas, all the celebrations except the ones at February 29th wouldn't suffer from this change neither in the period of transition nor in the future.

Inyuki, Jan 01 2010


       //February 29th// sortof immaterial, by definition the solstice will only move one way or the other by half a day ?   

       But what about clocks ? the exact "solstice latitude" changes every year through the 4 year leap cycle.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2010

       There wouldn't be changes in the non-leap years throught the period of transition at all.   

       The years with the Feb 29th excluded would be 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2048, after which, beginning with 2052 we would again include the Feb 29th each and every fourth year.   

       // what about clocks //   

       Hack them to override Feb 29 one day within this period, or simply decide to do so by law within this period. It really doesn't require technical changes. It only requires people for those 10 leap years set their clocks to override the Feb 29th manually.
Inyuki, Jan 01 2010

       Only thing is, i think it should start with the Vernal Equinox like it does on Mars.
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2010

       ooooh, you mean to set it up; okay, my bad.   

       Do you think that's how we got here in the first place?: originally "New Years" was on the equinox but since nobody was shifting leap years it slid around.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2010

       [FlyingToaster], consideringthat that it takes only 4*10=40 years of inattention to get there, it might be due to many incorrections of measurement and counting in the ancient times, but the nature didn't let us go too far away from what it is, as defined through subconscious perceptions of the general population.
Inyuki, Jan 01 2010

       Sounds good. The drift has probably arisen as a consequence of the whole Julian/Gregorian calendar corrections, and Saturnalia and Meán Geimhridh are Solstice festivals.   


       Alternatively, you could drag your miserable little planet into a slightly longer orbit so that the sidereal year and day have an integer ratio.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2010

       [8th of 7], ohh yess, am all for planetary engineering, but it's not within our reach just yet.
Inyuki, Jan 01 2010

       //slightly longer orbit// or would it be easier to speed up the spin?
pocmloc, Jan 01 2010

       You pays your money and you takes your choice, but you'd have to speed up your moon too if you did that.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2010

       I'm presuming you mean to refer to the December solstice and not necessarily the "winter" solstice. If you insist on tying the new year to the winter solstice, the southern hemisphere's year would be offset by six months.   

       However, the general problem with the idea is that it seems to view the concept of the solstice as a "day", when in fact it is a celestial event that occurs at a specific moment, which is usually not the same moment every year, and of course in any given year, is not the same in each time zone. It does not always occur on Dec 21. For example, the most recent solstice occurred on Dec 22 in New Zealand (which marked the southern hemisphere's summer solstice, and their longest day of the year).   

       Thus, in your delayed calendar, it would not always occur on Dec 31. You can't tie the solstice to the new year in all time zones, therefore the intent of the idea is not really achievable, and would be largely symbolic. Some places would occasionally have to observe Dec 31 as New Year's Day, or possibly Jan 2 (as the kiwis would be doing now if this idea were already in place). Because the solstice moves around like that, it seems to me it's probably not a good idea to attach any other significance to it.   

       Also it is not true to say nothing else would happen. All other celestial events, solstices and equinoxes would also be moved ahead by approximately the same amount of days. They would be unlikely to correspond to the ends of months very often. And moving the vernal equinox will wreak havoc with the church's Easter calculations - you could end up with an Easter sometime into May, and very rarely (possibly never) in March.
tatterdemalion, Jan 01 2010

       Any good suggestions for a non-arbitrary datum point then ?
8th of 7, Jan 01 2010

       [8th of 7], [pocmloc], in addition, changing movements of planet should be temporary. After the shift in the period is made, the normal rotations should be reverted to achieve the same effect.   

       [tatterdemalion], yes, there will be 10 days shift for weather and heavenly body positions, but not for calendrical events, if they calculate wisely.   

       // You can't tie the solstice to the new year in all time zones, therefore the intent of the idea is not really achievable, and would be largely symbolic. //   

Inyuki, Jan 01 2010

       If winter starts to drift later and later into where spring should be I'm going to be rather bummed.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2010


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