The French Republican Calendar

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From 1792 to 1806, during the years following the French Revolution, France used a different calendar, the French Republican calendar. Historical records from that period use this calendar and require some calculation to convert French Republican dates into our regular "Gregorian calendar" dates.

It may seem like a very odd idea for a country to invent a new calendar. Maybe it was an odd idea, but consider this: During that same period, the French also introduced a new system of measurements, the metric system, with its kilometers, grams, litres, etc. The French metric system caught on and is used by almost all countries today. The French calendar did not.

The French Republican calendar had twelve months. Each month had exactly 30 days. The months were:

  1. Vendémiaire (vintage)
  2. Brumaire (mist)
  3. Frimaire (frost)
  4. Nivôse (snow)
  5. Pluviôse (rain)
  6. Ventôse (wind)
  7. Germinal (sprouting time)
  8. Floréal (blossom)
  9. Prairial (meadow)
  10. Messidor (harvest)
  11. Thermidor (heat)
  12. Fructidor (fruit).

At the end of the year, following 30 Fructidor, were five special "complementary" days to round out the year to 365 days. The complementary days were named Virtue, Genius, Labor, Opinion and Rewards. A sixth complementary day, added in leap years, was named Revolution.

"Day One" of the calendar, 01 Vendémiaire Year 1, was 22-Sep-1792. The last day of this calendar was 10 Nivôse Year 14, which was 31-Dec-1805. On 01-Jan-1806, France returned to the Gregorian calendar.

 

Conversions:

1-Vend-2 = 22-Sep-1793 ... 1-Brum-2 = 22-Oct-1793 ... 1-Frim-2 = 21-Nov-1793 ... 1-Nivo-2 = 21-Dec-1793 ... 1-Pluv-2 = 20-Jan-1794 ... 1-Vent-2 = 19-Feb-1794 ... 1-Germ-2 = 21-Mar-1794 ... 1-Flor-2 = 20-Apr-1794 ... 1-Prai-2 = 20-May-1794 ... 1-Mess-2 = 19-Jun-1794 ... 1-Ther-2 = 19-Jul-1794 ... 1-Fruc-2 = 18-Aug-1794 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1794

1-Vend-3 = 22-Sep-1794 ... 1-Brum-3 = 22-Oct-1794 ... 1-Frim-3 = 21-Nov-1794 ... 1-Nivo-3 = 21-Dec-1794 ... 1-Pluv-3 = 20-Jan-1795 ... 1-Vent-3 = 19-Feb-1795 ... 1-Germ-3 = 21-Mar-1795 ... 1-Flor-3 = 20-Apr-1795 ... 1-Prai-3 = 20-May-1795 ... 1-Mess-3 = 19-Jun-1795 ... 1-Ther-3 = 19-Jul-1795 ... 1-Fruc-3 = 18-Aug-1795 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1795

1-Vend-4 = 23-Sep-1795 ... 1-Brum-4 = 23-Oct-1795 ... 1-Frim-4 = 22-Nov-1795 ... 1-Nivo-4 = 22-Dec-1795 ... 1-Pluv-4 = 21-Jan-1796 ... 1-Vent-4 = 20-Feb-1796 ... 1-Germ-4 = 21-Mar-1796 ... 1-Flor-4 = 20-Apr-1796 ... 1-Prai-4 = 20-May-1796 ... 1-Mess-4 = 19-Jun-1796 ... 1-Ther-4 = 19-Jul-1796 ... 1-Fruc-4 = 18-Aug-1796 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1796

1-Vend-5 = 22-Sep-1796 ... 1-Brum-5 = 22-Oct-1796 ... 1-Frim-5 = 21-Nov-1796 ... 1-Nivo-5 = 21-Dec-1796 ... 1-Pluv-5 = 20-Jan-1797 ... 1-Vent-5 = 19-Feb-1797 ... 1-Germ-5 = 21-Mar-1797 ... 1-Flor-5 = 20-Apr-1797 ... 1-Prai-5 = 20-May-1797 ... 1-Mess-5 = 19-Jun-1797 ... 1-Ther-5 = 19-Jul-1797 ... 1-Fruc-5 = 18-Aug-1797 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1797

1-Vend-6 = 22-Sep-1797 ... 1-Brum-6 = 22-Oct-1797 ... 1-Frim-6 = 21-Nov-1797 ... 1-Nivo-6 = 21-Dec-1797 ... 1-Pluv-6 = 20-Jan-1798 ... 1-Vent-6 = 19-Feb-1798 ... 1-Germ-6 = 21-Mar-1798 ... 1-Flor-6 = 20-Apr-1798 ... 1-Prai-6 = 20-May-1798 ... 1-Mess-6 = 19-Jun-1798 ... 1-Ther-6 = 19-Jul-1798 ... 1-Fruc-6 = 18-Aug-1798 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1798

1-Vend-7 = 22-Sep-1798 ... 1-Brum-7 = 22-Oct-1798 ... 1-Frim-7 = 21-Nov-1798 ... 1-Nivo-7 = 21-Dec-1798 ... 1-Pluv-7 = 20-Jan-1799 ... 1-Vent-7 = 19-Feb-1799 ... 1-Germ-7 = 21-Mar-1799 ... 1-Flor-7 = 20-Apr-1799 ... 1-Prai-7 = 20-May-1799 ... 1-Mess-7 = 19-Jun-1799 ... 1-Ther-7 = 19-Jul-1799 ... 1-Fruc-7 = 18-Aug-1799 ... complementary = 17-Sep-1799

1-Vend-8 = 23-Sep-1799 ... 1-Brum-8 = 23-Oct-1799 ... 1-Frim-8 = 22-Nov-1799 ... 1-Nivo-8 = 22-Dec-1799 ... 1-Pluv-8 = 21-Jan-1800 ... 1-Vent-8 = 20-Feb-1800 ... 1-Germ-8 = 22-Mar-1800 ... 1-Flor-8 = 21-Apr-1800 ... 1-Prai-8 = 21-May-1800 ... 1-Mess-8 = 20-Jun-1800 ... 1-Ther-8 = 20-Jul-1800 ... 1-Fruc-8 = 19-Aug-1800 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1800

1-Vend-9 = 23-Sep-1800 ... 1-Brum-9 = 23-Oct-1800 ... 1-Frim-9 = 22-Nov-1800 ... 1-Nivo-9 = 22-Dec-1800 ... 1-Pluv-9 = 21-Jan-1801 ... 1-Vent-9 = 20-Feb-1801 ... 1-Germ-9 = 22-Mar-1801 ... 1-Flor-9 = 21-Apr-1801 ... 1-Prai-9 = 21-May-1801 ... 1-Mess-9 = 20-Jun-1801 ... 1-Ther-9 = 20-Jul-1801 ... 1-Fruc-9 = 19-Aug-1801 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1801

1-Vend-10 = 23-Sep-1801 ... 1-Brum-10 = 23-Oct-1801 ... 1-Frim-10 = 22-Nov-1801 ... 1-Nivo-10 = 22-Dec-1801 ... 1-Pluv-10 = 21-Jan-1802 ... 1-Vent-10 = 20-Feb-1802 ... 1-Germ-10 = 22-Mar-1802 ... 1-Flor-10 = 21-Apr-1802 ... 1-Prai-10 = 21-May-1802 ... 1-Mess-10 = 20-Jun-1802 ... 1-Ther-10 = 20-Jul-1802 ... 1-Fruc-10 = 19-Aug-1802 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1802

1-Vend-11 = 23-Sep-1802 ... 1-Brum-11 = 23-Oct-1802 ... 1-Frim-11 = 22-Nov-1802 ... 1-Nivo-11 = 22-Dec-1802 ... 1-Pluv-11 = 21-Jan-1803 ... 1-Vent-11 = 20-Feb-1803 ... 1-Germ-11 = 22-Mar-1803 ... 1-Flor-11 = 21-Apr-1803 ... 1-Prai-11 = 21-May-1803 ... 1-Mess-11 = 20-Jun-1803 ... 1-Ther-11 = 20-Jul-1803 ... 1-Fruc-11 = 19-Aug-1803 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1803

1-Vend-12 = 24-Sep-1803 ... 1-Brum-12 = 24-Oct-1803 ... 1-Frim-12 = 23-Nov-1803 ... 1-Nivo-12 = 23-Dec-1803 ... 1-Pluv-12 = 22-Jan-1804 ... 1-Vent-12 = 21-Feb-1804 ... 1-Germ-12 = 22-Mar-1804 ... 1-Flor-12 = 21-Apr-1804 ... 1-Prai-12 = 21-May-1804 ... 1-Mess-12 = 20-Jun-1804 ... 1-Ther-12 = 20-Jul-1804 ... 1-Fruc-12 = 19-Aug-1804 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1804

1-Vend-13 = 23-Sep-1804 ... 1-Brum-13 = 23-Oct-1804 ... 1-Frim-13 = 22-Nov-1804 ... 1-Nivo-13 = 22-Dec-1804 ... 1-Pluv-13 = 21-Jan-1805 ... 1-Vent-13 = 20-Feb-1805 ... 1-Germ-13 = 22-Mar-1805 ... 1-Flor-13 = 21-Apr-1805 ... 1-Prai-13 = 21-May-1805 ... 1-Mess-13 = 20-Jun-1805 ... 1-Ther-13 = 20-Jul-1805 ... 1-Fruc-13 = 19-Aug-1805 ... complementary = 18-Sep-1805

1-Vend-14 = 23-Sep-1805 ... 1-Brum-14 = 23-Oct-1805 ... 1-Frim-14 = 22-Nov-1805 ... 1-Nivo-14 = 22-Dec-1805 ... 10-Nivo-14 = 31-Dec-1805

 

Sources:

French Republican Calendar
by Lisa Oberg
http://www.eskimo.com/~lisanne/frenchrep.htm

Genealogy and History in France - French Republican Calendar
by Philippe Chapelin
http://www.gefrance.com/calrep/calen.htm

French Republican Calendar Research Outline
by the LDS Family History Library
This guide available on-line or as a printed brochure.
The printed brochure of this guide is very handy. You can purchase it from the FHL by going to this web address and searching for item number 34046:
    www.ldscatalog.com
The same guide is also available on-line at either of these links:
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Guide=FrRepCal.ASP
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/guide/FrRepCal.ASP
The last time I checked, the on-line version of the FHL guide had a flaw: It omits the links to three of its four conversion calendars. To get around this problem, you can reach each of the four conversion calendars by using these links:
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/images/Calendar_1.gif
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/images/Calendar_2.gif
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/images/Calendar_3.gif
    www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/images/Calendar_4.gif