Swedish calendar
The Swedish calendar was a calendar
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

 in use in Sweden and its possessions from 1 March 1700 until 30 February 1712; it was one day ahead of the Julian calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

 and ten days behind the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. Easter was nominally calculated astronomically from 1740 to 1844.

Solar calendar

In November 1699, it was decided that Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 would begin to adopt the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

, starting in 1700. The plan was to skip all leap days in the period 1700 to 1740, thus gradually approaching the Gregorian calendar over 40 years. According to plan, February 29 was omitted in 1700, but no further reductions were made in the following years due to the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...


In January 1711, King Charles XII
Charles XII of Sweden
Charles XII also Carl of Sweden, , Latinized to Carolus Rex, Turkish: Demirbaş Şarl, also known as Charles the Habitué was the King of the Swedish Empire from 1697 to 1718...

 declared that Sweden would abandon the calendar, which was not in use by any other nation and had not achieved its objective, in favour of a return to the older Julian calendar. An extra day was added to February in the leap year of 1712, thus giving it a unique 30-day length.

In 1753, one year later than England and its colonies, Sweden introduced the Gregorian calendar, whereby the leap of 11 days was accomplished with February 17 being followed by March 1.


Easter was to be calculated according to the Easter rules of the Julian calendar from 1700 until 1739, except that from 1700 to 1711 that Easter Sunday was dated in the anomalous Swedish calendar described above.

In 1740, Sweden finally adopted the "improved calendar" already adopted by the Protestant States of Germany in 1700 (which they used until 1775). Its improvement was to calculate the full moon
Full moon
Full moon lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. More precisely, a full moon occurs when the geocentric apparent longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees; the Moon is then in opposition with the Sun.Lunar eclipses can only occur at...

 and vernal equinox
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator...

 of Easter according to astronomical tables, specifically Kepler's Rudolphine Tables
Rudolphine Tables
The Rudolphine Tables consist of a star catalogue and planetary tables published by Johannes Kepler in 1627 using data from Tycho Brahe's observations.-Previous tables:...

at the meridian of Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe , born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations...

's Uraniborg
Uranienborg was a Danish astronomical observatory operated by Tycho Brahe; built circa 1576-1580 on Hven, an island in the Øresund between Zealand and Scania, which at that time was part of Denmark. The observatory was shortly after its construction expanded with an underground facility,...

 observatory (destroyed long before) on the former Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 island of Hven
Ven is a small Swedish island in the Öresund strait, between Scania and Zealand . It is situated in Landskrona Municipality, Skåne County. The island has 371 inhabitants and an area of . During the 1930s, the population was at its peak, with approximately 1,300 inhabitants...

 near the southern tip of Sweden. In addition to the usual medieval rule that Easter was the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, this astronomical Easter Sunday was to be delayed by one week if this calculation would have placed it on the same day as the first day of Jewish Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 week, Nisan 15
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

. This conflicts with the Julian Easter which could not occur on the 14th day of the moon (Nisan 14) but was permitted on Nisan 15 to 21, although these dates were calculated via Christian, not Jewish, tables (see Computus
Computus is the calculation of the date of Easter in the Christian calendar. The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages, as it was one of the most important computations of the age....

). The resulting astronomical Easter dates in the Julian calendar used in Sweden from 1740 to 1752 occurred on the same Sunday as the Julian Easter every three years, but were earlier than the earliest canonical limit for Easter of March 22 in 1742, 1744 and 1750.

After the adoption of the Gregorian solar calendar in 1753, three astronomical Easter dates were one week later than the Gregorian Easter in 1802, 1805 and 1818. Before Sweden formally adopted the Gregorian Easter in 1844, two more should have been delayed in 1825 and 1829 but were not.

Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 was part of Sweden until 1809 when it became the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

 within the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 due to the Finnish War
Finnish War
The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and the Russian Empire from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire...

. Until 1866 Finland continued to observe the astronomical Easter, which was one week after the Gregorian Easter in 1818, 1825, 1829 and 1845. However, Russia used the Julian calendar and Julian Easter during this period, so the comparison given above applies, that the astronomical Easter agreed with the Julian Easter about every third year but was sometimes earlier than March 22 Julian.

See also

  • Leap year
    Leap year
    A leap year is a year containing one extra day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year...

  • Holidays in Sweden
  • Flag days in Sweden
    Flag days in Sweden
    By Swedish law a number of days of the calendar year are designated as official flag days. This means that the Flag of Sweden is flown on all public flag poles and buildings. Hoisting of the Swedish flag on private flag poles on these days is also strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.Flying of...

  • Name days in Sweden
    Name days in Sweden
    This is the old Swedish name day calendar, sanctioned by the Swedish Academy in 1901, with official status until 1972. Some days still refer to traditional or religious feasts rather than personal names. Some of the names below are linked to the original saints or martyrs from which they originate...

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