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5 Weekends in 1 Month Happens More Often Than Every 823 Years

5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays in a month? It happens only once every 823 years! This popular urban myth has been circulating the internet for a while. However, it is precisely that: a myth.

Illustration image

Busting the "5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, & 5 Sundays in 1 month" myth.

©timeanddate.com

Before you get too excited about this once-in-a-lifetime event and start telling your family and friends, know this: any such claims are false. Combinations of days like 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays occur much more often than every 823 years!

The 823 Years Myth

If you have an email or a social media account, chances are that you have come across a viral post that claims an upcoming month has a rare combination of weekdays. Share it, the message states, or beware of some bad luck.

A recent version goes something like this:

July 2022 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it “silver pockets full” or "money bags."

The email is partially correct. July 2022 does have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays, and so does December 2845, 823 years after. But this is neither special nor unusual. You won't need to wait for another 823 years for this weekday combination to occur. A calendar month that contains 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays actually occurs nearly every year—December 2023, March 2024, August 2025, and May 2026 all have the same weekday pattern.

First Day of the Month

The weekday combinations these 823-year messages refer to aren't exceptional either. A quick look at a calendar will show that the first 3 weekdays of any 31-day month will be repeated 5 times in that month. So, any month that has 31 days and begins on a Friday will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. Similarly, any 31-day month that begins on a Tuesday will have 5 Tuesdays, 5 Wednesdays, and 5 Thursdays.

Recurring Monthly Calendars

Ready for some math? Here's a more mathematical reasoning of why the 823-year claim is a myth:

Every year has 7 months with 31 days. Each of these months has at least 3 weekdays that happen 5 times during the month. For example, August 2022 has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, and 5 Wednesdays. December 2022 has 5 Thursdays, 5 Fridays, and 5 Saturdays.

There are 7 different days a month can start. So, on average, the combination of any 3 days occurring 5 times in a calendar month will happen once a year.

In any given year, there are only 6 such combinations of days. This is because 2 months with 31 days start on the same weekday. In a common year, January and October have the same calendar, while January and July look the same in a leap year.

5-Day Combinations in a Month

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January 20225 Saturdays5 Sundays5 MondaysSame as October 2022
March 20225 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays5 Thursdays
May 20225 Sundays5 Mondays5 Tuesdays
July 20225 Fridays5 Saturdays5 Sundays
August 20225 Mondays5 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays
October 20225 Saturdays5 Sundays5 MondaysSame as January 2022
December 20225 Thursdays5 Fridays5 Saturdays
January 20235 Sundays5 Mondays5 TuesdaysSame as October 2023
March 20235 Wednesdays5 Thursdays5 Fridays
May 20235 Mondays5 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays
July 20235 Saturdays5 Sundays5 Mondays
August 20235 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays5 Thursdays
October 20235 Sundays5 Mondays5 TuesdaysSame as January 2023
December 20235 Fridays5 Saturdays5 Sundays

Topics: Calendar, Fun