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France Gotoarrow.png Republican Calendar

Contents

History of the Calendar

The French Republican calendar (also known as the Revolutionary calendar) was introduced during the French Revolution to replace the Gregorian calendar and begin a new era. The calendar was based on scientific rather than Christian principles.

This calendar was used for twelve years, from 24 October 1793 to 31 December 1805. (An attempt was made in 1871 to reinstate it, but this attempt failed.) It was used for civil registration records, notarial records, and other government records throughout France and other areas under French rule, including modern Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. It also affected records in other areas ruled by the French government, such as Egypt, Malta, Reunion, Louisiana, Guiana, and some Caribbean islands.

Principles of the New Calendar

Each year began on the autumn equinox, and the years were counted from the founding of the French Republic on 22 September 1792.

Each year had twelve months of thirty days each.

Five days, called complementary days, were added to the end of the year to bring the total to 365.

Every four years, beginning with the third year of the Republic, an extra complementary day was added. (Days were added to years 3, 7, 11, and so forth.) During this period, the standard calendar had only two leap years (in 1796 and 1804).

The Months

The twelve months of the French Republican calendar were based on the natural events of the seasons of the year. They do not correspond to the standard months of January through December.

In areas that were not French-speaking, the names of the months were often translated into the language of the record, as shown by the following chart:

Months of the French Republican Calendar

Autumn Months

English French German Dutch Italian Latin
grape harvest Vendémiaire Weinlesemonat Wijnoogstmaand vendemmaio mensis vindemiarum
fog Brumaire Nebelmonat Mistmaand brumaio mensis brumarum
frost Frimaire Reifmonat Rijpmaand frimaio mensus frimarum

Winter months

snow Nivôse Schneemonat Sneeuwmaand nevoso mensis nivium
rain Pluviôse Regenmonat Regenmaand piovoso mensis pluviarum
wind Ventôse Windmonat Windmaand ventoso mensis ventorum

Spring months

germination Germinal Keimmonat Kiemmaand germinale mensis germinum
flowering Floréal Blütenmonat Blœmmaand floreale mensis florum
pasture Prairial Wiesenmonat Grasmaand pratile mensis prætorum

Summer months

harvest Messidor Erntemonat Oostmaand messidoro mensis messium
heat Thermidor* Hitzemonat Hittemaand termidoro mensis thermarum
fruit Fructidor Fruchtmonat Vruchtmaand fruttidoro mensis fructuum
  • Occasionally, the name Fervidor(heat) was used for Thermidor.

Complementary or Feast Days

English French German Dutch Italian Latin
Feast of... Fête de... Fest der... Feest der... giorno della... Festum...
First day virtue la vertu Tugend Deugd virtù virtutis
Second day genius le genie Geistes Vernuft genio ingenii
Third day labor le travail Arbeit Werkzaamheid lavoro laboris
Fourth day opinion l’opinion Meinung Gezindheid opinione opinionis
Fifth day rewards récompenses Belohnungen Beloning ricompènse pretiorum
Sixth day* revolution la révolution Umsturzes/ Revolution Revolutie rivoluzione revolutionis
  • Only used in leap years

Complementary Days

The extra days at the end of the year were called jours complémentaires (complementary days or holidays) or jours-sansculottides (days of the revolutionaries). The complementary days were feast days and each had a name. The above chart shows the names in each language where the calendar was used.

How Dates were Recorded

Dates were usually written out in French or the local language. For example:

  • Le treizième jour du mois de Pluviôse l’an sept de la République Française (The 13th of Pluviose in the seventh year of the French Republic).

The years of the Republic were often designated by Roman numerals. For example:

  • 13 Pluviôse VII (13 Pluviose, seventh year of the Republic).

The complementary (feast) days were recorded in two ways:

  • By the name of the feast. Example: the feast day of Labor in the ninth year of the French Republic.
  • By the number (first, second, third, and so on) of the day.
  • Example: the third complementary day of the ninth year of the French Republic.

How to Calculate the Standard Date for a French Republican Date

Four calendars are on the following pages. Each calendar has the French Republican months across the top, and thirty days on the left-hand column.

Find the French Republican year for the date you are converting at the top of one of the four calendars.

Find the day (of the French month) in the left column, and move across the page to the French month (abbreviated at the top of the chart). This will give you the standard (Gregorian) month and day.

Return to the top of the calendar. The corresponding standard years are on the same horizontal line as the French Republican year. The correct standard year for the date you are converting is on the same side of the heavy black line as the month and day you found in step 2.

Example: 10 Vendémiaire de l’an IX

Year IX is on Calendar Three

On Calendar Three, find the number 10 in the left column and move across the page to the column for Vendémiaire. This box says 2 Oct. Dates on the left side of the heavy black line for the ninth year of the Republic correspond to 1800. Thus 10 Vendémiaire IX corresponds to 2 October 1800.

                                      Calendar One

Year One I.............................1792    1793

Year Two II.............................1793    1794

Year Three III..........................1794    1795

Year Five V............................1796    1797

Year Six VI............................1797    1798

Year Seven VII.......................1798    1799

VEND   BRUM FRIM NIVO PLUV VENT GERM FLOR PRAIR MESS THERM FRUCT COMPL
1 22 Sep 22 Oct 21 Nov 21 Dec 20 Jan 19 Feb 21 Mar 20 Apr 20 May 19 Jun 19 Jul 18 Aug 17 Sep
2 23 Sep 23 Oct 22 Nov 22 Dec 21 Jan 20 Feb 22 Mar 21 Apr 21 May 20 Jun 20 Jul 19 Aug 18 Sep
3 24 Sep 24 Oct 23 Nov 23 Dec 22 Jan 21 Feb 23 Mar 22 Apr 22 May 21 Jun 21 Jul 20 Aug 19 Sep
4 25 Sep 25 Oct 24 Nov 24 Dec 23 Jan 22 Feb 24 Mar 23 Apr 23 May 22 Jun 22 Jul 21 Aug 20 Sep
5 26 Sep 26 Oct 25 Nov 25 Dec 24 Jan 23 Feb 25 Mar 24 Apr 24 May 23 Jun 23 Jul 22 Aug 21 Sep
6 27 Sep 27 Oct 26 Nov 26 Dec 25 Jan 24 Feb 26 Mar 25 Apr 25 May 24 Jun 24 Jul 23 Aug 22 Sep*
7 28 Sep 28 Oct 27 Nov 27 Dec 26 Jan 25 Feb 27 Mar 26 Apr 26 May 25 Jun 25 Jul 24 Aug
8 29 Sep 29 Oct 28 Nov 28 Dec 27 Jan 26 Feb 28 Mar 27 Apr 27 May 26 Jun 26 Jul 25 Aug
9 30 Sep 30 Oct 29 Nov 29 Dec 28 Jan 27 Feb 29 Mar 28 Apr 28 May 27 Jun 27 Jul 26 Aug
10  1 Oct 31 Oct 30 Nov 30 Dec 29 Jan 28 Feb 30 Mar 29 Apr 29 May 28 Jun 28 Jul 27 Aug
11  2 Oct  1 Nov  1 Dec 31 Dec 30 Jan 29 Feb 31 Mar 30 Apr 30 May 29 Jun 29 Jul 28 Aug
12  3 Oct  2 Nov  2 Dec  1 Jan 31 Jan  1 Mar  1 Apr  1 May 31 May 30 Jun 30 Jul 29 Aug
13  4 Oct  3 Nov  3 Dec  2 Jan  1 Feb  2 Mar  2 Apr  2 May   1 Jun  1 Jul 31 Jul 30 Aug
14  5 Oct  4 Nov  4 Dec  3 Jan  2 Feb  3 Mar  3 Apr  3 May  2 Jun  2 Jul  1 Aug 31 Aug
15  6 Oct  5 Nov  5 Dec  4 Jan  3 Feb  4 Mar  4 Apr  4 May  3 Jun  3 Jul  2 Aug  1 Sep
16  7 Oct  6 Nov  6 Dec  5 Jan  4 Feb  5 Mar  5 Apr  5 May  4 Jun  4 Jul  3 Aug  2 Sep
17  8 Oct  7 Nov  7 Dec  6 Jan  5 Feb  6 Mar  6 Apr  6 May  5 Jun  5 Jul  4 Aug  3 Sep
18  9 Oct  8 Nov  8 Dec  7 Jan  6 Feb  7 Mar  7 Apr  7 May  6 Jun  6 Jul  5 Aug  4 Sep
19 10 Oct  9 Nov  9 Dec  8 Jan  7 Feb  8 Mar  8 Apr  8 May  7 Jun  7 Jul  6 Aug  5 Sep
20 11 Oct 10 Nov 10 Dec  9 Jan  8 Feb  9 Mar  9 Apr  9 May  8 Jun  8 Jul  7 Aug  6 Sep
21 12 Oct 11 Nov 11 Dec 10 Jan  9 Feb 10 Mar 10 Apr 10 May  9 Jun  9 Jul  8 Aug  7 Sep
22 13 Oct 12 Nov 12 Dec 11 Jan 10 Feb 11 Mar 11 Apr 11 May 10 Jun 10 Jul  9 Aug  8 Sep
23 14 Oct 13 Nov 13 Dec 12 Jan 11 Feb 12 Mar 12 Apr 12 May 11 Jun 11 Jul 10 Aug  9 Sep
24 15 Oct 14 Nov 14 Dec 13 Jan 12 Feb 13 Mar 13 Apr 13 May 12 Jun 12 Jul 11 Aug 10 Sep
25 16 Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 14 Jan 13 Feb 14 Mar 14 Apr 14 May 13 Jun 13 Jul 12 Aug 11 Sep
26 17 Oct 16 Nov 16 Dec 15 Jan 14 Feb 15 Mar 15 Apr 15 May 14 Jun 14 Jul 13 Aug 12 Sep
27 18 Oct 17 Nov 17 Dec 16 Jan 15 Feb 16 Mar 16 Apr 16 May 15 Jun 15 Jul 14 Aug 13 Sep
28 19 Oct 18 Nov 18 Dec 17 Jan 16 Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 16 Jun 16 Jul 15 Aug 14 Sep
29 20 Oct 19 Nov 19 Dec 18 Jan 17 Feb 18 Mar 18 Apr 18 May 17 Jun 17 Jul 16 Aug 15 Sep
30 21 Oct 20 Nov 20 Dec 19 Jan 18 Feb 19 Mar 19 Apr 19 May 18 Jun 18 Jul 17 Aug 16 Sep
  • Used only in Year III and VII

                                            Calendar Two

French Republican Year                           Standard (Gregorian) Year
Year Four IV . . . . . . . . . 1795    1796 (Bold)
VEND   BRUM FRIM NIVO PLUV VENT GERM FLOR PRAIR MESS THERM FRUCT COMPL
1 23 Sep 23 Oct 22 Nov 22 Dec 21 Jan 20 Feb 21 Mar 20 Apr 20 May 19 Jun 19 Jul 18 Aug 17 Sep
2 24 Sep 24 Oct 23 Nov 23 Dec 22 Jan 21 Feb 22 Mar 21 Apr 21 May 20 Jun 20 Jul 19 Aug 18 Sep
3 25 Sep 25 Oct 24 Nov 24 Dec 23 Jan 22 Feb 23 Mar 22 Apr 22 May 21 Jun 21 Jul 20 Aug 19 Sep
4 26 Sep 26 Oct 25 Nov 25 Dec 24 Jan 23 Feb 24 Mar 23 Apr 23 May 22 Jun 22 Jul 21 Aug 20 Sep
5 27 Sep 27 Oct 26 Nov 26 Dec 25 Jan 24 Feb 25 Mar 24 Apr 24 May 23 Jun 23 Jul 22 Aug 21 Sep
6 28 Sep 28 Oct 27 Nov 27 Dec 26 Jan 25 Feb 26 Mar 25 Apr 25 May 24 Jun 24 Jul 23 Aug
7 29 Sep 29 Oct 28 Nov 28 Dec 27 Jan 26 Feb 27 Mar 26 Apr 26 May 25 Jun 25 Jul 24 Aug
8 30 Sep 30 Oct 29 Nov 29 Dec 28 Jan 27 Feb 28 Mar 27 Apr 27 May 26 Jun 26 Jul 25 Aug
9 1 Oct 31 Oct 30 Nov 30 Dec 29 Jan 28 Feb 29 Mar 28 Apr 28 May 27 Jun 27 Jul 26 Aug
10 2 Oct 1 Nov 1 Dec 31 Dec 30 Jan 29 Feb 30 Mar 29 Apr 29 May 28 Jun 28 Jul 27 Aug
11 3 Oct 2 Nov 2 Dec 1 Jan 31 Jan 1 Mar 31 Mar 30 Apr 30 May 29 Jun 29 Jul 28 Aug
12 4 Oct 3 Nov 3 Dec 2 Jan 1 Feb 2 Mar 1 Apr 1 May 31 May 30 Jun 30 Jul 29 Aug
13 5 Oct 4 Nov 4 Dec 3 Jan 2 Feb 3 Mar 2 Apr 2 May 1 Jun 1 Jul 31 Jul 30 Aug
14 6 Oct 5 Nov 5 Dec 4 Jan 3 Feb 4 Mar 3 Apr 3 May 2 Jun 2 Jul 1 Aug 31 Aug
15 7 Oct 6 Nov 6 Dec 5 Jan 4 Feb 5 Mar 4 Apr 4 May 3 Jun 3 Jul 2 Aug 1 Sep
16 8 Oct 7 Nov 7 Dec 6 Jan 5 Feb 6 Mar 5 Apr 5 May 4 Jun 4 Jul 3 Aug 2 Sep
17 9 Oct 8 Nov 8 Dec 7 Jan 6 Feb 7 Mar 6 Apr 6 May 5 Jun 5 Jul 4 Aug 3 Sep
18 10 Oct 9 Nov 9 Dec 8 Jan 7 Feb 8 Mar 7 Apr 7 May 6 Jun 6 Jul 5 Aug 4 Sep
19 11 Oct 10 Nov 10 Dec 9 Jan 8 Feb 9 Mar 8 Apr 8 May 7 Jun 7 Jul 6 Aug 5 Sep
20 12 Oct 11 Nov 11 Dec 10 Jan 9 Feb 10 Mar 9 Apr 9 May 8 Jun 8 Jul 7 Aug 6 Sep
21 13 Oct 12 Nov 12 Dec 11 Jan 10 Feb 11 Mar 10 Apr 10 May 9 Jun 9 Jul 8 Aug 7 Sep
22 14 Oct 13 Nov 13 Dec 12 Jan 11 Feb 12 Mar 11 Apr 11 May 10 Jun 10 Jul 9 Aug 8 Sep
23 15 Oct 14 Nov 14 Dec 13 Jan 12 Feb 13 Mar 12 Apr 12 May 11 Jun 11 Jul 10 Aug 9 Sep
24 16 Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 14 Jan 13 Feb 14 Mar 13 Apr 13 May 12 Jun 12 Jul 11 Aug 10 Sep
25 17 Oct 16 Nov 16 Dec 15 Jan 14 Feb 15 Mar 14 Apr 14 May 13 Jun 13 Jul 12 Aug 11 Sep
26 18 Oct 17 Nov 17 Dec 16 Jan 15 Feb 16 Mar 15 Apr 15 May 14 Jun 14 Jul 13 Aug 12 Sep
27 19 Oct 18 Nov 18 Dec 17 Jan 16 Feb 17 Mar 16 Apr 16 May 15 Jun 15 Jul 14 Aug 13 Sep
28 20 Oct 19 Nov 19 Dec 18 Jan 17 Feb 18 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 16 Jun 16 Jul 15 Aug 14 Sep
29 21 Oct 20 Nov 20 Dec 19 Jan 18 Feb 19 Mar 18 Apr 18 May 17 Jun 17 Jul 16 Aug 15 Sep
30 22 Oct 21 Nov 21 Dec 20 Jan 19 Feb 20 Mar 19 Apr 19 May 18 Jun 18 Jul 17 Aug 16 Sep

                                            Calendar Three

VEND BRUM FRIM NIVO PLUV VENT GERM FLOR PRAIR MESS THERM FRUCT COMPL
1 23 Sep 23 Oct 22 Nov 22 Dec 21 Jan 20 Feb 22 Mar 21 Apr 21 May 20 Jun 20 Jul 19 Aug 18 Sep
2 24 Sep 24 Oct 23 Nov 23 Dec 22 Jan 21 Feb 23 Mar 22 Apr 22 May 21 Jun 21 Jul 20 Aug 19 Sep
3 25 Sep 25 Oct 24 Nov 24 Dec 23 Jan 22 Feb 24 Mar 23 Apr 23 May 22 Jun 22 Jul 21 Aug 20 Sep
4 26 Sep 26 Oct 25 Nov 25 Dec 24 Jan 23 Feb 25 Mar 24 Apr 24 May 23 Jun 23 Jul 22 Aug 21 Sep
5 27 Sep 27 Oct 26 Nov 26 Dec 25 Jan 24 Feb 26 Mar 25 Apr 25 May 24 Jun 24 Jul 23 Aug 22 Sep
6 28 Sep 28 Oct 27 Nov 27 Dec 26 Jan 25 Feb 27 Mar 26 Apr 26 May 25 Jun 25 Jul 24 Aug 23 Sep*
7 29 Sep 29 Oct 28 Nov 28 Dec 27 Jan 26 Feb 28 Mar 27 Apr 27 May 26 Jun 26 Jul 25 Aug
8 30 Sep 30 Oct 29 Nov 29 Dec 28 Jan 27 Feb 29 Mar 28 Apr 28 May 27 Jun 27 Jul 26 Aug
9 1 Oct 31 Oct 30 Nov 30 Dec 29 Jan 28 Feb 30 Mar 29 Apr 29 May 28 Jun 28 Jul 27 Aug
10 2 Oct 1 Nov 1 Dec 31 Dec 30 Jan 29 Feb 31 Mar 30 Apr 30 May 29 Jun 29 Jul 28 Aug
11 3 Oct 2 Nov 2 Dec 1 Jan 31 Jan 1 Mar 1 Apr 1 May 31 May 30 Jun 30 Jul 29 Aug
12 4 Oct 3 Nov 3 Dec 2 Jan 1 Feb 2 Mar 2 Apr 2 May 1 Jun 1 Jul 31 Jul 30 Aug
13 5 Oct 4 Nov 4 Dec 3 Jan 2 Feb 3 Mar 3 Apr 3 May 2 Jun 2 Jul 1 Aug 31 Aug
14 6 Oct 5 Nov 5 Dec 4 Jan 3 Feb 4 Mar 4 Apr 4 May 3 Jun 3 Jul 2 Aug 1 Sep
15 7 Oct 6 Nov 6 Dec 5 Jan 4 Feb 5 Mar 5 Apr 5 May 4 Jun 4 Jul 3 Aug 2 Sep
16 8 Oct 7 Nov 7 Dec 6 Jan 5 Feb 6 Mar 6 Apr 6 May 5 Jun 5 Jul 4 Aug 3 Sep
17 9 Oct 8 Nov 8 Dec 7 Jan 6 Feb 7 Mar 7 Apr 7 May 6 Jun 6 Jul 5 Aug
4 Sep

18

10 Oct
9 Nov 
9 Dec
8 Jan
7 Feb
8 Mar
8 Apr
8 May
7 Jun
7 Jul
6 Aug
5 Sep

19

11 Oct
10 Nov
10 Dec
9 Jan 
8 Feb 
9 Mar 
9 Apr
9 May
8 Jun
8 Jul
7 Aug
6 Sep

20

12 Oct
11 Nov
11 Dec
10 Jan
9 Feb 

10 Mar 10 Apr 10 May 9 Jun 9 Jul 8 Aug

7 Sep

21

13 Oct
12 Nov
12 Dec
11 Jan
10 Feb
11 Mar
11 Apr
11 May
10 Jun
10 Jul
9 Aug
8 Sep

22

14 Oct
13 Nov
13 Dec
12 Jan
11 Feb
12 Mar
12 Apr
12 May
11 Jun
11 Jul
10 Aug
9 Sep

23

15 Oct
14 Nov
14 Dec
13 Jan
12 Feb
13 Mar
13 Apr
13 May
12 Jun
12 Jul
11 Aug
10 Sep

24

16 Oct
15 Nov
15 Dec
14 Jan
13 Feb
14 Mar
14 Apr
14 May
13 Jun
13 Jul
12 Aug
11 Sep

25

17 Oct
16 Nov
16 Dec
15 Jan
14 Feb
15 Mar
15 Apr
15 May
14 Jun
14 Jul
13 Aug
12 Sep

26

18 Oct
17 Nov
17 Dec
16 Jan
15 Feb
16 Mar
16 Apr
16 May
15 Jun
15 Jul
14 Aug
13 Sep

27

19 Oct
18 Nov
18 Dec
17 Jan
16 Feb
17 Mar
17 Apr
17 May
16 Jun
16 Jul
15 Aug
14 Sep

28

20 Oct
19 Nov
19 Dec
18 Jan
17 Feb
18 Mar
18 Apr
18 May
17 Jun
17 Jul
16 Aug
15 Sep

29

21 Oct
20 Nov
20 Dec
19 Jan
18 Feb
19 Mar
19 Apr
19 May
18 Jun
18 Jul
17 Aug
16 Sep

30

22 Oct
21 Nov
21 Dec
20 Jan
19 Feb
20 Mar
20 Apr
20 May
19 Jun
19 Jul
18 Aug
17 Sep

                                            Calendar Four

VEND   BRUM FRIM NIVO PLUV VENT GERM FLOR PRAIR MESS THERM FRUCT COMPL

Paper publication: First Edition, Feb. 1991.


 

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