Lunar year

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Since there are about twelve lunations (synodic months) in a solar year, this period (354.37 days) is sometimes referred to as lunar year, corresponding to thirteen sidereal months (355.18 days). Lunisolar calendars that try to reconcile lunations with the solar year have to operate with intercalary months, resulting in a thirteen-month year every two or three years.

In England, a calendar of thirteen months of 28 days each, plus one extra day, known as "a year and a day" was still in use up to Tudor times. This would be a hybrid calendar that had substituted regular weeks of seven days for actual quarter-lunations, so that one month had exactly four weeks, regardless of the actual moon phase. The "lunar year" is here considered to have 364 days, resulting in a solar year of "a year and a day".

As a religious tradition, the thirteen-month years survived among European peasants for more than a millennium after the adoption of the Julian Calendar.

The "Edwardian" (probably Edward II, late 13th or early 14th century) ballad of Robin Hood for example has "How many merry months be in the year? / There are thirteen, I say ...", emended by a Tudor editor to "...There are but twelve, I say....". Robert Graves in the introductions to Greek Myths comments on this with "Thirteen, the number of the sun's death-month, has never lost its evil reputation among the superstitious."

The Moon and its cycles are the source for much poetry, song, culture, and superstition.

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Lunar year

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