Friday, 9 November 2018

Hedd Wyn, Old Halloween and the Julian Calender.....


When the Julian Calender was abolished in 1752  twelve dats were taken from the Cacalender. It meant that at the Armistice of 1918 occured ib what was known as "Old Halloween" The irony is not lost on me. It was the old celtic Festival that we remembered the dead one. In Wales we had lost this great poet. I would like to tell you about him.

 Hedd Wyn (1887-1917), born Ellis Humphrey Evans, killed 100 Killed 100 years ago at Paschendaele

Welsh Language poet Hedd Wyn '"blessed peace" was killed 100 years ago on the first day of the battle of Passchendaele. 100 years later Donald Trump appoints a Secretary of State for defence whose nickname is mad dog ! From alpha to omega eh...
Hedd Wyn (1887-1917), born Ellis Humphrey Evans, was a sheep farmer turned poet-soldier who was killed during the First World War.
He began writing Welsh-language poetry at an early age; when aged 24 he was awarded a chair at Bala; others followed at Llanuwchllyn, Pwllheli and Pontardawe (the latter in 1915 with the First World War underway).Evans - who chose Hedd Wyn ('white peace') as his pen name - was born in Penlan, Trawsfynydd the eldest of eleven children, and lived for much of his life at Yr Ysgwrn, a hill farm east of Trawsfynydd.
Wynn sat out the war for three years as a sheep farmer until he was called up for military service in 1917. Following a spell of training in Liverpool Private Evans was despatched for active service in Flanders and found himself stationed with his regiment at the notorious Pilckem Ridge immediately prior to the opening of the Passchendaele offensive (3rd Ypres).
It was at Pilckem Ridge that Wyn was killed during fighting in August 1917. Buried initially on the battlefield (out of necessity) his body was subsequently moved to Artillery Wood cemetery following the armistice.
September of that year brought a posthumous award of the chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales for his verse poem Yr Arwr ('The Hero'). Wyn had written the poem while serving in Flanders and completed it shortly before his death under the nom-de-plume of 'fleur-de-lis'. The chair itself was draped in black in memorial of Wyn following the announcement of his win and revelation of the author's actual identity.
A Welsh-language film based on Wyn's life was produced in 1992, Hedd Wynn.
It was at Pilckem Ridge that Wyn was killed during fighti ng in August 1917. Buried initially on the battlefield (out of necessity) his body was subsequently moved to Artillery Wood cemetery following the armistice.

Gwae fi fy myw mewn oes mor ddreng,
A Duw ar drai ar orwel pell;
O'i ôl mae dyn, yn deyrn a gwreng,
Yn codi ei awdurdod hell.
Pan deimlodd fyned ymaith Dduw
Cyfododd gledd i ladd ei frawd;
Mae sŵn yr ymladd ar ein clyw,
A'i gysgod ar fythynnod tlawd.
Mae'r hen delynau genid gynt,
Ynghrog ar gangau'r helyg draw,
A gwaedd y bechgyn lond y gwynt,
A'u gwaed yn gymysg efo'r glaw
Why must I live in this grim age,
When, to a far horizon, God
Has ebbed away, and man, with rage,
Now wields the sceptre and the rod?
Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
To slay his brother, and the roar
Of battlefields now casts upon
Our homes the shadow of the war.
The harps to which we sang are hung,
On willow boughs, and their refrain
Drowned by the anguish of the young
Whose blood is mingled with the rain

Change From Julian to Gregorian Calendar

The Gregorian calendar was first introduced in 1582, but it took more than 300 years for all the different countries to change from the Julian Calendar.

The Gregorian Calendar, also known as the Western or Christian Calendar, is the most widely used calendar in the world today. Its predecessor, the Julian Calendar, was replaced because it did not properly reflect the actual time it takes the Earth to circle once around the Sun, known as a tropical year.

Too Many Leap Years

The reason the Julian Calendar had to be replaced was the formula it used to calculate leap years. The Julian formula produced a leap year every four years, which is too many. The Gregorian Calendar uses a much more accurate rule for calculating leap years.

Skipped Several Days

To get the calendar back in sync with astronomical events like the vernal equinox or the winter solstice, a number of days were dropped.
The papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, decreed that 10 days be dropped when switching to the Gregorian Calendar. However, the later the switch occurred, the more days had to be omitted. (See table below).
This created short months with only 18 days and odd dates like February 30 during the year of the changeover.
In North America, the month of September 1752 was exceptionally short, skipping 11 days.

Switch Took More Than 300 Years

The Gregorian Calendar was first introduced in 1582 in some European countries (*). However, many countries used the Julian Calendar much longer. Turkey was the last country to officially switch to the new system on January 1, 1927.
Year of SwitchCountry Days Removed
1582France (most areas), Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain10 days
1583Austria, Germany (Catholic states), 10 days
1587Hungary, 10 days
1610Germany (Prussia), 10 days
1752United States (most areas), Canada (most areas),
United Kingdom (and colonies)
11 days
1872/1873Japan, 12 days
1916Bulgaria, 13 days
1918Estonia, Russia, 13 days
1923Greece, 13 days
1926/1927Turkey, 13 days
* Note: The list includes only a small selection of countries. In some cases, it shows a simplified version of events. Each country is listed by its current name although its official name may have changed since the calendar reform.
The delay in switching meant that different countries not only followed different calendars for a number of years but also had different rules to calculate whether a year was a leap year.
This explains why the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were leap years in countries still using the Julian calendar (e.g. Greece), while in countries that had adopted the Gregorian calendar (e.g. Germany), these years were common years.

Double Leap Year

Sweden and Finland had a "double" leap year in 1712. Two days were added to February, creating February 30, 1712. This was done because the Leap Year in 1700 was dropped and Sweden's calendar was not synchronized with any other calendar. By adding an extra day in 1712, they were back on the Julian calendar. Both countries introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1753.

Is There a Perfect Calendar?

Japan replaced its lunisolar calendar with the Gregorian calendar in January 1873, but decided to use the numbered months it had originally used rather than the European names.
The Republic of China originally adopted the Gregorian calendar in January 1912, but it wasn’t used in China due to warlords using different calendars. However, the Nationalist Government formally decreed the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in China in January 1929.

13 Days Behind Today

Currently (1901–2099), the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.
Today's Gregorian calendar uses more accurate leap year formula, making it far more accurate than the Julian. However, it is not perfect either. Compared to the tropical year, it is off by one day every 3236 years.

The Revised Julian Calendar

This Revised Julian calendar uses even more complex rules to determine when to add a leap day. With an error of only about two seconds per year (or one day in 31,250 years), it is roughly 10 times more accurate than today's Gregorian calendar and one of the most accurate calendar systems ever devised. However, it is not used by any country, only by certain orthodox churches.

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