The Soviet revolutionary calendar was in use in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1940.
Shortly after the October Revolution of 1917, Vladimir Lenin had decreed to change the calendar in the Soviet Union from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian calendar. This change involved bypassing the days from February 1 until February 13 1918.
Starting on October 1 1929, as an experiment, a new rationalized version of the calendar was introduced. In this version, all weeks had 5 days, all months had 30 days and the remaining five days of a year were added as holidays in between, not belonging to any month or week. These days were:
- Lenin day after January 30
- Labour Days, two days after April 30
- Industry Days, two days after November 7
- in leap years, a leap day after February 30
The abolishment of the seven-day week in favor of a five-day week was in part an anti-religious measure to banish the Christian Sunday as day of rest. Under the five-day week all workers were divided into five groups according to colour (yellow, pink, red, purple, green), and each group had one day of the week, according to the colour, as their day of rest. The intention was to improve industrial efficiency by avoiding the regular interruption of a non-working day.
Although workers had more days off work under the new system (one day in five instead of one day in seven), the separation into five groups made family and social life inconvenient and proved very unpopular. In addition, the projected efficiency gains of the shorter week did not show up in reality.
It appears that the Gregorian calendar still being used in the Soviet Union during this period, at least for some things. This is confirmed by consulting the successive dates in daily issues of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, in which February had 28 days in 1930 and 1931.
Starting December 1, 1931, the Western schedule of month lengths was restored. The 5-day workweek was replaced with the 6-day workweek, with a common day of rest on every 6th, 12th, 18th, 24th and 30th of the month. The 31st was kept outside this six-day week cycle and varied between a holiday and a working day, and March 1st was used instead of February 30th.
In practice the Sunday rest tradition proved hard to eliminate, with workers often taking both Sunday and the new day of rest. Finally, in 1940, the old seven day week was restored.
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