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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 – happens only every 823 years? This popular urban myth has been circulating on the internet for a while. However, it is precisely that: a myth.

Illustration image

The 823-Year Myth.

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. Special 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 own an email, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media account, chances are that you have come across an email or a post that claims an upcoming month has a very rare specific combination of days. A recent version goes something like this:

May 2020 will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it “silver pockets full.”

The email is right in that May 2020 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. But this is nothing special or unusual. You will not have to wait another 823 years for the next time this happens in the month of May. Only 6 years later, in 2026, May also has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays.

Nearly Every Year

In fact, a calendar month that contains 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays occurs nearly every year.

In fact, the calendar 823 years in the future is not even the same as the calendar of the month in the many versions of the hoax! For instance, March 2019 had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. 823 years later, March 2848 has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, and 5 Tuesdays.

Not So Special

The combinations of days these messages or emails refer to are also not very special. This is because the first 3 weekdays of any 31-day month are 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

Here's a more mathematical reasoning 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, March 2019 had 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. January 2019 had 5 Tuesdays, 5 Wednesdays, and 5 Thursdays.

There are 7 different days a month can start on. 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 in a leap year, January and July look the same.

5-day Combos in the Same Month

On dates:1 / 8 / 15 / 22 / 292 / 9 / 16 / 23 / 303 / 10 / 17 / 24 / 31Comments
January 20195 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays5 ThursdaysSame as October 2019
March 20195 Fridays5 Saturdays5 Sundays
May 20195 Wednesdays5 Thursdays5 Fridays
July 20195 Mondays5 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays
August 20195 Thursdays5 Fridays5 Saturdays
October 20195 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays5 ThursdaysSame as January 2019
December 20195 Sundays5 Mondays5 Tuesdays
January 20205 Wednesdays5 Thursdays5 FridaysSame as July 2020
March 20205 Sundays5 Mondays5 Tuesdays
May 20205 Fridays5 Saturdays5 Sundays
July 20205 Wednesdays5 Thursdays5 FridaysSame as January 2020
August 20205 Saturdays5 Sundays5 Mondays
October 20205 Thursdays5 Fridays5 Saturdays
December 20205 Tuesdays5 Wednesdays5 Thursdays

Topics: Calendar, Fun

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