While based on US data giving it a northern hemisphere skew, those of us south of the equator can still get an idea of how common, or otherwise, our birthdays are with Matt Stiles’ birthday heatmap data visualisation.
Why would such data vary north or south of the equator? According to the information used to create this heatmap, a lot of babies are conceived during winter months, theoretically making birthdays more common during the late summer and autumn months in this part of the world.
An astrophysicist, Richard Conn Henry, and applied economist Steve Hanke, have created a calendar made up of 364 days per year that perpetually keeps occurrences such as birthdays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, tied to exactly the same day of the week each year.
Every third month on the new calendar would have 31 days, with the rest of the months having 30, for a total of 364 days. They would drop the quadrennial 366-day leap years entirely in favor of an extra week at the end of December every five or six years. The pair say their calendar is different from other alternative calendars proposed in the past because it keeps each week at seven days.
The idea certainly has its merits (such as that occasional extra week at the end of December, especially if it means extra holiday time) in that we’d always know exactly what day of the week certain festivities occur. New Year’s Day, for example, might always fall on a Saturday, an arrangement that would probably suit many revellers.
The only drawback might be when it comes to birthdays, and for some people the prospect of never seeing their birthday fall over a weekend might be deflating. I foresee a rise in birthday related leave applications should this fixed day calendar ever be adopted.
Imagine being born during the extra December week though, your birthday might only come around once every five or six years, but who knows, if this errant week happens to be incorporated into the year end holiday you’d potentially have a week to celebrate it.