Skip to main content

French Revolutionary calendar

French Revolutionary calendar, the official calendar of France, Nov. 24, 1793–Dec. 31, 1805. Its introduction was decreed by the Convention on Oct. 5, 1793, but it was computed from Sept. 22, 1792, the autumnal equinox and the day after the proclamation of the republic. Supposedly philosophical and mathematical in its basis, it was divided into 12 months of 30 days (their names were invented by Fabre d'Églantine): Vendémiaire (vintage month); Brumaire (fog); Frimaire (sleet); Nivôse (snow); Pluviôse (rain); Ventôse (wind); Germinal (seed); Floréal (blossom); Prairial (pasture); Messidor (harvest); Thermidor (heat); Fructidor (fruit). The remaining five days, called sans-culottides, were feast days; they were named for Virtue, Genius, Labor, Reason, and Rewards, respectively. In leap years (the years III, VII, and XI) the extra day, the last of the year, was Revolution Day. The first day of the year (1 Vendémiaire) of year I, II, III, V, VI, and VII fell on Sept. 22 of the corresponding year AD; in the years IV, VIII, IX, X, XI, XIII, and XIV, it fell on Sept. 23; in the year XII, it fell on Sept. 24. There was no week; each month was divided into three decades of ten days each, with every 10th day (décadi) a day of rest. For the outstanding events known by the names of the revolutionary months in which they occurred, see Vendémiaire; Brumaire; Thermidor; Fructidor.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"French Revolutionary calendar." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 20 Aug. 2019 <>.

"French Revolutionary calendar." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (August 20, 2019).

"French Revolutionary calendar." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.