Why Calendar skipped 11 days in 1752?

Muhammad Usman
3 min readSep 25, 2019

Imagine you sleep one day and wake up the next morning and notice that you have slept for 11 days straight. Sounds like a movie, isn’t it? Well, it has happened in the past back in 1752.
Eager to know how? Let’s dig into the details to figure out the story of the missing 11 days where a month was over in 19 days instead of 30.

Before finding out the truth about this impenetrable event from the past, let me tell you about the Julian calendar that was used back then. Julian calendar proposed by Julius Caesar also consisted of 12 months like the Gregorian calendar established in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII that is used today then why the need for a new calendar? What was wrong with the old one? Well, this is where our answer lies.

According to the Julian calendar, a year consists of 365 days and 6 hours while it should have been 365 days 5 hours and 49 minutes according to the solar year which shows the gap of 11 minutes every day and hence reducing one day after every 128 days. This error in the Julian calendar resulted in switching to the Gregorian calendar which was going 11 days ahead of it.
Most of the countries like Norway, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France readily implemented the new calendar while there were still some like England who did not accept the change or were reluctant due to the fact that they were powerful and could not easily bend to get synced with the rest of the states and hence causing troubles of events and trades among the nations.
When the situation became totally out of control, the government of the countries with the Julian calendar finally felt the need to relinquish and get themselves aligned with the world. This hotchpotch led to the shift from Julian to Gregorian calendar in 1752.

When the people of England slept, the calendar showed September 2nd and when they opened their eyes the next day, it was September 14th instead of September 3rd . This sudden skipping of 11 days caused chaos among the people. They started showing disagreement and demanded their lost 11 days. The government made sure to take the necessary measures to settle the condition like paying the employees for those 11 days which brought the concept of “paid leave” into the world .

Written by : M. Usman & Alishba A. Mudassir