The Connection Of The Gregorian Calendar & Playing Cards

Connection Of Gregorian Calendar and Playing Cards - KhelPlay Rummy

The Gregorian calendar and playing cards might seem like two unrelated topics and after reading the title of this article, you must have wondered with a puzzled face, but they have an interesting connection. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Gregorian calendar and how it’s intertwined with the history of playing cards, particularly in the card game of online rummy.

The Gregorian Calendar

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar system in the world today. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to replace the Julian calendar, which had been in use for over 1500 years. The Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC, was based on the solar year, but it miscalculated the length of the year by about 11 minutes. Over time, this led to a discrepancy between the calendar and the actual astronomical year, causing seasonal drift.

The Gregorian calendar addressed this issue by dropping 10 days from the calendar and adding a leap year rule that eliminated leap years in century years unless they were divisible by 400. This correction brought the calendar back in line with the astronomical year and eliminated the seasonal drift.

The Playing Cards

Playing cards have been around for centuries, with their origins dating back to ancient China. The modern deck of 52 cards with four suits – hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades – originated in Europe in the 14th century. The four suits were thought to represent the four classes of medieval society – clergy, nobility, merchants, and peasants. Each suit had ten numbered cards and four court cards – the king, queen, knight, and page. These cards are used to play many card games like Rummy, teen patti, poker, bridge, etc.

The Connection between the Gregorian Calendar and the Playing Cards

The connection between the Gregorian calendar and playing cards is not immediately apparent. However, it can be traced back to the history of the rummy game. The Spanish deck of cards had a unique feature – it had a card for each day of the year. The deck had 52 cards, which represented the 52 weeks of the year, and each card had a number from 1 to 7, which represented the day of the week. The deck also had 12 court cards, which represented the 12 months of the year. For all those who play rummy games online, this is an interesting connection.

It is believed that this feature of the Spanish deck was inspired by the Julian calendar, which was in use at the time. The Julian calendar had 365 days in a year, and each day was assigned a number from 1 to 365. This feature of the Julian calendar was also present in the Spanish deck of cards.

When the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, it became the standard calendar in Europe and eventually spread to the rest of the world. Now, these are the aspects where the connection of the cards to the Gregorian calendar comes in:

  1. The cards are in two colours: Red and Black, they represent day and night.
  2. The playing cards are in 4 suits: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs. They symbolize the 4 seasons in a year: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.
  3. Each deck has 13 cards: A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, and K. They represent the 13 lunar cycles/13 weeks of a quarter.
  4. Let’s consider Ace cards as 1, the numbered cards as their numerical value, Jack as 11, Queen as 12, and the King as 13, and if you add all of these, you get 364! Now add a printed joker with the numerical value of 1, and then it becomes 365! Most of the decks have 2 printed jokers, so it becomes 366, the number of days in a leap year!

Isn’t all of this interesting?! Now whether all of this is intentional or just a coincidence, no one should ignore this awesome connection. Such a great piece of information for card connoisseurs to have. So the next time you begin to play Indian rummy, remember and marvel at the connection between the playing cards and the Gregorian calendar.

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