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Thirty days in February 1712.
The Swedish Calendar in use from 1 March 1700 until 30 February 1712 was one day ahead of the Julian calendar and ten days behind the Gregorian calendar. Easter was nominally calculated astronomically from 1740 to 1844.

Solar calendar

In November 1699 it was decided that Swedenmarker would begin to adopt the Gregorian calendar, 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.

In January 1711, King Charles XII declared that Sweden would abandon the calendar, which wasn't 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 and vernal equinox of Easter according to astronomical tables, specifically Kepler's Rudolphine Tables at the meridian of Tycho Brahe's Uraniborgmarker observatory (destroyed long before) on the former Danishmarker island of Hvenmarker 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 week, Nisan 15. 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). 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.

Finlandmarker was part of Sweden until 1809 when it became the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empiremarker due to the Finnish War. 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


  1. Roscoe Lamont, The reform of the Julian calendar (II), Popular Astronomy 28 (1920) 18–32, see pages 24–25.
  2. Anomalous Easter Sunday Dates during the 18th and early 19th Century by Robert van Gent
  3. Anomalous Easter Sunday Dates in Sweden and Finland by Robert van Gent

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