In the modern period, it has become customary to number the days from the beginning of the month, and 29 February is often considered as the leap day.
Some churches, notably the Roman Catholic Church, delay February festivals after the 23rd by one day in leap years.
To unambiguously specify a date, dual dating or Old Style and New Style dates are sometimes used. S.) notations indicate either that the start of the Julian year has (or has not) been adjusted to start on 1 January (even though documents written at the time use a different start of year), or that a date conforms to the (old) Julian calendar rather than the (new) Gregorian.
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Transition to the Gregorian calendar would restore the holiday to the time of the year in which it was celebrated when introduced by the early Church.
The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe.
The Gregorian reform contained two parts: a reform of the Julian calendar as used prior to Pope Gregory XIII's time and a reform of the lunar cycle used by the Church, with the Julian calendar, to calculate the date of Easter.
The reform was a modification of a proposal made by Aloysius Lilius.
This meant that Easter varied between 22 March and 25 April.
In Rome, Easter was not allowed to fall later than 21 April, that being the day of the Parilia or birthday of Rome and a pagan festival.
In order to solve the problem, the University of Salamanca, Spain, sent a technical paper in 1515 but it was rejected.
The Council of Trent approved a plan in 1563 for correcting the calendrical errors, requiring that the date of the vernal equinox be restored to that which it held at the time of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and that an alteration to the calendar be designed to prevent future drift.
In addition to the change in the mean length of the calendar year from 365.25 days (365 days 6 hours) to 365.2425 days (365 days 5 hours 49 minutes 12 seconds), a reduction of 10 minutes 48 seconds per year, the Gregorian calendar reform also dealt with the accumulated difference between these lengths.
The canonical Easter tables were devised at the end of the third century, when the vernal equinox fell either on 20 March or 21 March depending on the year's position in the leap year cycle.
A calendar date is fully specified by the year (numbered by some scheme beyond the scope of the calendar itself), the month (identified by name or number), and the day of the month (numbered sequentially starting at 1).