The Wildcard Day

52 weeks works out to be 364 days. Since a calendar year has 365 or 366 days, one could replace the current calendar with one that has one day a year denoted as a wildcard that won’t have a day of the week. That would make the weeks line up the same every year.

If the change would be made next year, this is what the calendar would look like for February and March, (as it would every year going forward.)

Instead of February 28 being a Tuesday, it has no day of the week anymore. The next day, March 1, takes the opened-up Tuesday slot. Every other day after that shifts left a day. On a leap year, the 29th would also have no day of the week.

From March 2023 to February 2024, an old-style Wednesday would be a Tuesday. From March 2024 to February 2025, the old Wednesday would be Sunday. It would continue from year to year that the day of the week would be altered by varying amounts.

The biggest advantage of this arrangement is that the same calendar could be used every year.

That’s pretty much the only advantage.

Federal holidays would get frozen on a specific day of the year. That would be nice because the holidays shifted to Monday would be consistent. But, if a holiday’s natural date now ends up on Wednesday every year, it would be messy for picking how to assign the paid day off.

Problems will show up really quickly. In addition to the Gregorian calendar, there are other calendars in common use such as the calendar used in Islamic countries and the Hebrew calendar. They won’t line up with the new calendar directly. Awildcard day would not fit consistently. If some arrangement could not be made, different calendars would give the same date different days of the week.

I don’t think an arrangement could be made, but it’s an idea. So far, not a good idea, but still an idea.

The next problem is that holidays that appear on a specific day of the week but not the same date would be hard to compute. There’s a formula to calculate the date of Easter and related special days. It would quit working. Easter is on a different week each year, but always on Sunday, so the week might be hard to form a consensus over.

Also, that defeats the goal of being able to use the same calendar every year.

The Hebrew calendar is very carefully designed so that special days, as appropriate, are on the sabbath or not on the sabbath automatically. That precision would be ruined.

The computer algorithms for day of the week would go up in smoke too. Date calculations start by counting the number of days from an epoch date, often January 1, 1970. One takes that count and reduce it modulo seven to get the day of the week. Breaking that rule would make the Y2K bug seem mild by comparison.

Honestly, the problems caused by this idea overwhelmingly make it infeasible to follow. It’s a simple idea that isn’t compatible with life as we know it.

But…. maybe we could make April 1 as the wild card day just once to see if we like it???

One thought on “The Wildcard Day

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