Date Calculator

The following are two date calculators. One for the comparison of the difference between two dates, and the other for the purpose of adding or subtracting days, weeks, months, and years from a date.

Number of years, months, weeks, and days between two dates

Start Date
End Date



Add to or subtract from a date

Start Date
 
years
months
weeks
days
= ?

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History of the Gregorian Calendar

The Gregorian calendar is the most prevalently used calendar today. Within this calendar, a standard year consists of 365 days with a leap day being introduced to the month of February during a leap year. The months of April, June, September, and November have 30 days, while the rest have 31 days except for February, which has 28 days in a standard year, and 29 in a leap year.

The Gregorian calendar is a reformed version of the Julian calendar, which was itself a modification of the ancient Roman calendar. The ancient Roman calendar was believed to be an observational lunar calendar, based on the cycles of the moon's phases. The Romans were then believed to have adopted a 10-month calendar with 304 days, leaving the remaining 50 or so days as an unorganized winter. This calendar allowed summer and winter months to become completely misplaced, leading to the adoption of more accurate calendars.

The Republican calendar later used by Rome followed Greek calendars in its assumptions of 29.5 days in a lunar cycle, and 12.5 synodic months in a solar year, which align every fourth year upon the addition of the intercalary months of January and February. From this point, many attempts were made to align the Republican calendar with the solar year including the addition of an extra month to certain years to supplant the lack of days in a particular year. In 46 BC, the calendar was further reformed by Julius Caesar, introducing an algorithm that removed the dependence of calendars from the observation of the new moon. In order to accomplish this, Caesar inserted an additional 10 days to the Republican calendar, making the total number of days in a year 365. He also added the intercalation of a leap day every fourth year, all in an attempt to further synchronize the Roman calendar with the solar year.

Despite all efforts, the Julian calendar still required further reform, since the calendar drifted with respect to the equinoxes and solstices by approximately 11 minutes per year. By 1582, this resulted in a difference of 10 days from what was expected. Pope Gregory XIII addressed this by essentially skipping 10 days in the date, making the day after October 4, 1582, October 15. An adjustment was also made to the algorithm of the Julian calendar that changed which century years would be considered leap years. Under the Gregorian calendar, century years not divisible by 400 would not be leap years. These changes reduced the error from 1 day in 128 years, to 1 day in 3,030 years with respect to the current value of the mean solar year.

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar occurred slowly over a period of centuries, and despite many proposals to further reform the calendar, the Gregorian Calendar still prevails as the most commonly used dating system worldwide.