5. Unravelling the Weave of Time

What with the week?

the Seven Day Circle by Eviatar Zerubavel is the essential book about the 7-day week. It’s out of print, but you may come across it at the library or online.

So I had to finally come to terms with the 7-day week. I had hoped to incorporate it into the perpetual structure of the 52-week year, but realized that such a necessary change would make people less likely to adopt it.

Also, theAbysmal calendar is meant to be invisible in terms of applying symbol (outside of numbers), so weekdays were by necessity out. This makes things easier.

weekday-starTaking a Whack at the Week

There are so many different ways to measure regular lengths of days – the Maya use their sacred numbers 13 and 20 for many of their important measures of time, in parts of West Africa, market calendars can have interrelating cycles of 4, 5, and 6 days.

The best example of a calendar with several different weeks running at the same time is the Pawukon used on the island of Bali in Indonesia (curiously, it’s one of the few places I’ve visited in that hemisphere).

By looking at the factors, you can easily figure out what length of week are possible.

13 month calendar
2 x 2 x 7 x 13

Although 2 and 4 day weeks are possible, I think that 7, 13, and 14 day periods are more useful here. Although longer periods are possible, I limit “weeks” to 2-20 days. So with theAbysmal, I also created equivalent images for the year using 13-day weeks. I don’t have a proper name for them. the Spanish call them trecena, and I have been calling them fortnight, although that’s technically 14 days. Here’s what the 13-day year looks like.

Market Weeks

But the real creative spark came when I considered how to divide this up like a 360-day calendar. I needed to remove 5 days – the New Year Day was a given. The remaining 4 days could either be the two before and the two after the New Year day, however, I thought of the mid-quarter days.

Year-1---wheel-of-the-yearWith the New Year Day (roughly the southern solstice) and the four mid-quarter days removed, we have 360 days to work with. In practical terms, it means that any of the “weeks” of the 360-day calendar skip those 5 days – they don’t count. they are null days, or non-weekdays if you will.

360-day calendar
2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 5

That allows us to have weeks of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, and 20 days contained within the calendar year. The market week calendar looks like this.

In the end, this calendar allows more choice than any other of which I’m aware, in terms of possible measures of time to follow. The gregorian calendar has a 7-day week, and the irregular lengths of months. You can schedule by the week, by the month, or measure of month (quarter, semester, year).

Calendar users that wish to use unbroken progressions of weeks are certainly free to do so. This really opens up the playing field. How would you use a 5-day week?


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