is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a physical record (often paper) of such a system. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a partly or fully chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills.
Periods in a calendar (such as years and months) are usually, though not necessarily, synchronized with the cycle of the sun or the moon. The most common type of pre-modern calendar was the lunisolar calendar, a lunar calendar that occasionally adds one intercalary month to remain synchronised with the solar year over the long term.
The calendar in most widespread use today is the Gregorian calendar
, introduced in the 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification of the Julian calendar
, which was itself a modification of the ancient Roman calendar. The term calendar
itself is taken from calendae
, the term for the first day of the month in the Roman calendar, related to the verb calare
"to call out
", referring to the "calling" of the new moon when it was first seen. Latin calendarium
meant "account book
, register" (as accounts were settled and debts were collected on the calends
of each month). The Latin term was adopted in Old French as calendier
and from there in Middle English as calender
by the 13th century (the spelling calendar
is early modern).