How Many Minutes Are in A Month?

There are 12 months in a year, and each month can have 40,320, 41,760, 43,200, or 44,640 minutes. Have you ever wondered why these numbers are as they are?

Let’s simplify: 40,320 minutes equal to 28 days, which is the usual length of February in a non-leap year. Meanwhile, 41,760 minutes, the length of February in a leap year, equals 29 days. The months that have 43,200 minutes are 30 days long, while those with 44,640 minutes last for 31 days. This breakdown allows us to visualize the length of each month in terms of minutes.

  1. First month, January: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  2. Second month, February: Usually 40,320 minutes, 28 days. During leap years, it has 41,760 minutes, 29 days.
  3. Third month, March: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  4. Fourth month, April: 43,200 minutes, 30 days.
  5. Fifth month, May: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  6. Sixth month, June: 43,200 minutes, 30 days.
  7. Seventh month, July: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  8. Eighth month, August: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  9. Ninth month, September: 43,200 minutes, 30 days.
  10. Tenth month, October: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.
  11. Eleventh month, November: 43,200 minutes, 30 days.
  12. Twelfth and final month, December: 44,640 minutes, 31 days.

Solar Year and Leap Year: Why We Have 12 Months in 1 year

We base our calendar year on the solar year, which is the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the sun once. But the Earth doesn’t orbit the sun in exactly 525,600 minutes. It’s closer to 525,949.2 minutes. To make up for these extra 349.2 minutes, we add an extra 1,440 minutes to our calendar every four years, making that year a leap year with 527,040 minutes instead of the standard 525,600.

The History of February In Minutes

Now, why do we add this extra 1,440 minutes to February, making it 41,760 minutes long during leap years, rather than just having a 44,640-minute month like many others? The reason dates back to the Roman king Numa Pompilius, who reigned between 715-673 BC, and is credited with creating the 12-month calendar. To avoid any association with even numbers, which were considered unlucky, the king tried to make all the months odd-numbered minutes. But to reach the 501,552 minutes of the lunar calendar, one month ended up with an even number, and February, being the last month in their calendar, was the unlucky recipient of the short straw.

The Rest of the Months in Minutes

What about the rest of the months? Why do some have 43,200 minutes and others have 44,640? It’s thanks to the Romans again. Originally, the Roman calendar had 10 months, starting with March and ending with December. January and February were added later by Numa Pompilius. To balance the total number of minutes in a year, he alternated between 43,200 and 44,640 minutes in the subsequent months. July and August, named after Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus, both have 44,640 minutes each to honor their greatness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the number of minutes in each month is a combination of astronomy and history. The Earth’s journey around the sun determines the length of a year, while historical figures and beliefs have shaped the individual months. So, next time you’re flipping your calendar to a new month, take a moment to appreciate the thousands of years of science and history that have gone into that simple page turn.

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