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The Doomsday rule or Doomsday algorithm is a way of calculating the day of the week of a given date. It provides a perpetual calendar since the Gregorian calendar moves in cycles of 400 years.

The algorithm for mental calculation was invented by John Conway. It takes advantage of the fact that within any calendar year, the days of 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 12/12, and the last day of February always occur on the same day of week - the so-called "doomsday" (and furthermore that other months have "doomsday" on easy to remember pairs 5/9 and 9/5 as well as 7/11 and 11/7). This applies to both the Gregorian calendar A.D. and the Julian calendar, but note that for the Julian calendar the Doomsday of a year is a weekday that is usually different from that for the Gregorian calendar.

The algorithm has three steps, namely, finding the anchor day for the century, finding a year's Doomsday, and finding the day of week of the day in question.

Finding a year's Doomsday

We first take the anchor day for the century. For the purposes of the Doomsday rule, a century starts with a 00 year and ends with a 99 year. The following table shows the anchor day of centuries 1800-1899, 1900-1999, 2000-2099 and 2100-2199.

 Century Anchor day Mnemonic 1800-1899 Friday - 1900-1999 Wednesday We-in-dis-day(most of us were born in that century) 2000-2099 Tuesday Y-Tue-K(Y2K was at the head of this century) 2100-2199 Sunday 20-One-day is Sunday(2100 is the start of this century)

Since in the Gregorian calendar there are 146097 days, or exactly 20871 seven-day weeks, in 400 years, the anchor day repeats every four centuries. For example, the anchor day of 1700-1799 is the same as the anchor day of 2100-2199, i.e. Sunday.

Next, we find the year's Doomsday. To accomplish that according to Conway:
1. Divide the year's last two digits (call this y) by 12 and take the integral value of the quotient (a)
2. Take the remainder of the same quotient (b)
3. Divide that remainder by 4 and take the integral value (c).
4. Determine the sum of the three numbers (add a, b, and c to get d). (It is again possible here to divide by seven and take the remainder. This number is equivalent, as it must be, to the sum of the last two digits of the year taken collectively plus the integral value those collective digits divided by four.)
5. Count forward the specified number of days (d or the remainder of d/7) from the anchor day to get the year's Doomsday.

For the twentieth-century year 1966, for example:

As described in bullet 4, above, this is equivalent to:

So Doomsday in 1966 fell on Monday.

Similarly, Doomsday in 2005 is on a Monday:

Finding the day of the week of a given calendar date

One can easily find the day of the week of a given calendar date from a nearby Doomsday.

The following days all occur on Doomsday for any given Gregorian or Julian year:
The dates listed above were chosen to be easy to remember; the ones for even months are simply doubles, 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, and 12/12. Four of the odd month dates (5/9, 9/5, 7/11, and 11/7) are recalled using the mnemonic "I work from 9 to 5 at the 7-11."

For dates in March, March 7 falls on Doomsday, but the pseudodate "March 0" is easier to remember, as it is necessarily the same as the last day of February.

Doomsday is directly related to weekdays of dates in the period from March through February of the next year. For January and February of the same year, common years and leap years have to be distinguished.

Overview of all Doomsdays

 January (common years) January 3, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st 1-5 January (leap years) January 4, 11th, 18th, and 25th 1-4 February (common years) February 7, 14th, 21st, and 28th 6-9 February (leap years) February 1, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th 5-9 March March 7, 14th, 21st, and 28th 10-13 April April 4, 11th, 18th, and 25th 14-17 May May 2, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th 18-22 June June 6, 13th, 20th, and 27th 23-26 July July 4, 11th, 18th, and 25th 27-30 August August 1, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th 31-35 September September 5, 12th, 19th, and 26th 36-39 October October 3, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st 40-44 November November 7, 14th, 21st, and 28th 45-48 December December 5, 12th, 19th, and 26th 49-52 January of next year January 2, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30 - February of next year February 6, 13th, 20th, and 27th -

In leap years the nth Doomsday is in ISO week n. In common years the day after the nth Doomsday is in week n. Thus in a common year the week number on the Doomsday itself is one less if it is a Sunday, i.e., in a common year starting on Friday.

Formula for the Doomsday of a year

For computer use the following formulas for the Doomsday of a year are convenient.

For the Gregorian calendar:

For the Julian calendar:

The formulas apply also for the proleptic Gregorian calendar and the proleptic Julian calendar. They use the floor function and astronomical year numbering for years BC.

Compare Julian day#Calculation.

Cycle

The full 400-year cycle of Doomsdays is given in the following table. The centuries are for the Gregorian and proleptic Gregorian calendar, unless marked with a J for Julian (for the latter not all centuries are shown, for the missing ones it is easy to interpolate). The Gregorian leap years are widened and highlighted.

-200J
500J
1200J
1900J

-400
00
400
800
1200
1600
2000
-00J
700J
1400J
2100J

-300
100
500
900
1300
1700
2100
200J
900J
1600J
2300J

-200
200
600
1000
1400
1800
2200
400J
1100J
1800J
2500J

-100
300
700
1100
1500
1900
2300
-00 T USUFRWE
85 57 29 01WEMOSATH
86 58 30 02THTUSUFR
87 59 31 03FRWEMOSA
88 60 32 04S UF RW EM O
89 61 33 05MOSATHTU
90 62 34 06TUSUFRWE
91 63 35 07WEMOSATH
92 64 36 08F RW EM OS A
93 65 37 09SATHTUSU
94 66 38 10SUFRWEMO
95 67 39 11MOSATHTU
96 68 40 12W EM OS AT H
97 69 41 13THTUSUFR
98 70 42 14FRWEMOSA
99 71 43 15SATHTUSU
72 44 16M OS AT HT U
73 45 17TUSUFRWE
74 46 18WEMOSATH
75 47 19THTUSUFR
76 48 20S AT HT US U
77 49 21SUFRWEMO
78 50 22MOSATHTU
79 51 23TUSUFRWE
80 52 24T HT US UF R
81 53 25FRWEMOSA
82 54 26SATHTUSU
83 55 27SUFRWEMO
84 56 28T US UF RW E
1600
2000
1700
2100
1800
2200
1900
2300

Negative years use astronomical year numbering. Year 25BC is -24, shown in the column of -100J (proleptic Julian) or -100 (proleptic Gregorian), at the row 76.

Frequency in the 400-year cycle (leap years are widened again):
• 44 × TH, SA
• 43 × MO, TU, WE, FR, SU
• 15 × M O, W E
• 14 × F R, S A
• 13 × T U, T H, S U
Adding common and leap years:
• 58 × Mo, Wo, Sa
• 57 × Th, Fr
• 56 × Tu, Su
A leap year with Monday as Doomsday means that Sunday is one of 97 days skipped in the 497-day sequence. Thus the total number of years with Sunday as Doomsday is 71 minus the number of leap years with Monday as Doomsday, etc. Since Monday as Doomsday is skipped across 29 February 2000 and the pattern of leap days is symmetric about that leap day, the frequencies of Doomsdays per weekday (adding common and leap years) are symmetric about Monday. The frequencies of Doomsdays of leap years per weekday are symmetric about the Doomsday of 2000, Tuesday.

The frequency of a particular date being on a particular weekday can easily be derived from the above (for a date from 1 January - 28 February, relate it to the Doomsday of the previous year).

For example, 28 February is one day after Doomsday of the previous year, so it is 58 times each on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, etc. 29 February is Doomsday of a leap year, so it is 15 times each on Monday and Wednesday, etc.

28-year cycle

Regarding the frequency of Doomsdays in a Julian 28-year cycle, there are 1 leap year and 3 common years for every weekday, the latter 6, 17 and 23 years after the former (so with intervals of 6, 11, 6, and 5 years; not evenly distributed because after 12 years the day is skipped in the sequence of Doomsdays). The same cycle applies for any given date from 1 March falling on a particular weekday.

For any given date up to 28 February falling on a particular weekday, the 3 common years are 5, 11, and 22 years after the leap year, so with intervals of 5, 6, 11, and 6 years. Thus the cycle is the same, but with the 5-year interval after instead of before the leap year.

Thus, for any date except 29 February, the intervals between common years falling on a particular weekday are 6, 11, 11. See e.g. at the bottom of the page Common year starting on Monday the years in the range 1906 - 2091.

For 29 February falling on a particular weekday, there is just one in every 28 years, and it is of course a leap year.

Doomsdays for some contemporary years

Doomsday for the current year () is , and for some other contemporary years:

 2004 Sunday 2005 Monday 2006 Tuesday 2007 Wednesday 2008 Friday 2009 Saturday 2010 Sunday 2011 Monday

Correspondence with dominical letter

Doomsday is related to the dominical letter of the year as follows.

 Dominical letter Doomsday A or BA Tuesday B or CB Monday C or DC Sunday D or ED Saturday E or FE Friday F or GF Thursday G or AG Wednesday

Examples

Example 1 (2006)

Suppose you want to know which day of the week Christmas Day of 2006 was. In the year 2006, Doomsday was Tuesday. (The century's anchor day was Tuesday, and 2006's Doomsday was seven days beyond and was a Tuesday.) This means that December 12, 2006 was a Tuesday. December 25, being thirteen days afterwards, fell on a Monday.

Example 2 (other years of this century)

Suppose that you want to find the day of week that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. The anchor was Tuesday, and one day beyond was Wednesday. September 5 was a Doomsday, and September 11, six days later, fell on a Tuesday.

Example 3 (other centuries)

Suppose that you want to find the day of week that the American Civil War broke out at Fort Sumter, which was April 12, 1861. The anchor day for the century was 99 days after Thursday, or, in other words, Friday (calculated as (19+1)*5+floor(19/4); or just look at the chart, above, which lists the century's anchor days). The digits 61 gave a displacement of six days so Doomsday was Thursday. Therefore, April 4 was Thursday so April 12, eight days later, was a Friday.

Julian calendar

The Gregorian calendar accurately lines up with astronomical events such as solstices. In 1582 this modification of the Julian calendar was first instituted. In order to correct for calendar drift, 10 days were skipped, so Doomsday moved back 10 days (i.e. 3 days): Thursday 4 October (Julian, Doomsday is Wednesday) was followed by Friday 15 October (Gregorian, Doomsday is Sunday). The table includes Julian calendar years, but the algorithm is for the Gregorian and proleptic Gregorian calendar only.

Note that the Gregorian calendar was not adopted simultaneously in all countries, so for many centuries, different regions used different dates for the same day. More information can be found in the Gregorian Calendar article.

Calendars:

External links

This article details various mathematical algorithms to calculate the day of the week for any particular date in the past or future.

A typical application is to calculate the day of the week on which someone was born or some other special event occurred.
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General information

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John Horton Conway

Born November 26 1937
Liverpool, England
Residence U.S.
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Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. A modification of the Julian calendar, it was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, for whom it was named, on 24 February 1582 via the papal bull
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January 3 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon.

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January 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina.

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A leap year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one or more extra days (or, in case of lunisolar calendars, an extra month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronised with the
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April 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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May 9 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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June 6 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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July 11 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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August 8 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 1220 - Sweden was defeated by Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula.

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September 5 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 1590 - Alexander Farnese's army forces Henry IV of France to raise the siege of Paris.

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October 10 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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November 7 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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December 12 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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7-Eleven, Inc.

Indirect subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings Company, a Japan-based organization.
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Headquarters 8-8 Nibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 102-8455
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March 7 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

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January 3 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon.

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January 4 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

• 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina.

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