February 14, 1918 – Russia Adopts the Western Calendar
Pictured – Revolutionary time.
Thoughtful readers may have noticed that the February Revolution in Russia occurred in March, and that the October Revolution of 1918 happened on November 7. Unlike Western Europe, the Orthodox and Islamic populations of the east had stuck with the old Roman Julian calendar. By 1918 only a few holdouts remained.
The Bolsheviks swept away the old calendar along with the other vestiges of feudalism. Russia switched to the Gregorian calendar by skipping from February 1st, on the old calendar, ahead to February 14, catching up to the rest of Europe. The Tsar, imprisoned in Tobolsk with his family, was irritated by the change. “We learned from instructions which we received in the mail to change our
calendar from the 1st of February and count as if today were already
the 14th of February. This misunderstanding and confusion will not be
the last!“ The deposed monarch still underestimated Lenin and did not realize the full extent of changes in Russia since his abdication.
The Orthodox Church maintained the Julian calendar for religion, and there are “Old Calendarists” in Eastern Europe still today. Greece was the last nation in Europe to adopt Gregorian time, switching over in March 1924.