What Is “Gloumbes”?

In our modern world of global telecommunication, the Gregorian calendar has become a universal standard. To be fair, it is a very solid calendar, but I think we can all agree that it could use some improvement. For example, it is ridiculous that February has only 28 days when other months have up to 31! Obviously, a better system would allot 31 days to 5 of the months (6 in leap years) and 30 to the rest. BUT why stop there? Why not give equal day counts to ALL the months?

The solution, fellow calendar reformist, is called Gloumbes.

Calendar System Pros and Cons

Gregorian Calendar

PROS

  • Reasonably accurate leap-year correction system
  • Everyone’s already using it

CONS

  • Uneven numbers of days per month
  • No Gloumbes

My Proposal

PROS

  • Even number of days per month
  • Has Gloumbes!

CONS

  • NONE

In a 30-day-month calendar, 12 months obviously account for only 360 days. Gloumbes (a word I made up) refers to the period of 5–6 “leftover” days that are appended to the end of December to reach a full year. I propose further that under this system, December 30th would be tied to the (average) December solstice, and — should Pope Francis, like Pope Gregory before him, find value in a logically and astronomically sound calendar — also serve as Christmas Eve. Thus First-of-Gloumbes would be Christmas Day and Last-of-Gloumbes would be New Year’s Eve, wrapping up the year in a festive near-week of joyous celebration both secular and religious.

Gloumbes is the key added value of my proposal. I have done enough thorough research (read: a LIGHT Googling) to know that mine is far from the first attempt to resolve equal quarter or month length by adding intercalary periods; furthermore, numerous historical calendars have included epagomenal days at the beginning or end of a year. But I believe this system is the first that combines these approaches while incorporating and standardizing a feature of the year that already exists.

Popular Gloumbes Greetings

“A joyous Gloumbes be unto you!”
(“And unto you, a Gloumbes most glad!”)

“Now Gloumbes we’re told is come a-gaine!”

“Then let us sing, ’fore Gloumbes be out!”

“When next we meet ’tshall be nigh-Gloumbes!”

For Gloumbes, you see, is going strong. That fuzzy week from Christmas to New Year’s that always feels a bit outside of time? Normal schedules are interrupted; the year is basically over but not quite; many of us are just trying to bide time from one day off to another… shouldn’t there be a name for that? Perhaps, even, a designated period of time unto itself? Sure, you might say “the holidays” kind of works, but that can mean so many things, whereas Gloumbes has no ambiguity. It means, and has always meant, “the days from Christmas to New Year’s Eve.” Gloumbes has been around for hundreds of years; I only seek to codify what already is.

So whether you celebrate or not, whether you will join the rush of support for my proposed new calendar or live with the madness of a 28-day month sandwiched between two 31ers, I wish to each and every one of you a most joyous Gloumbes.

musical theater writer • mostly songs about robots