Old Style and New Style dates

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar as enacted in various European countries between 1582 and the 20th century.

Issue 9198 of The London Gazette, covering the calendar change in Great Britain. The issue spans 5 days, and the date heading reads: "From Tuesday September 1, O.S. to Saturday September 16, N.S. 1752".[1]

In England, Wales, Ireland and Britain's American colonies, there were two calendar changes, both in 1752. The first adjusted the start of a new year from Lady Day (25 March) to 1 January (which Scotland had done from 1600), while the second discarded the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar, removing 11 days from the calendar for September 1752 to do so.[2][3][4] To accommodate the two calendar changes, writers used dual dating to identify a given day by giving its date according to both styles of dating.

For countries such as Russia where no start of year adjustment took place, O.S. and N.S. simply indicate the Julian and Gregorian dating systems. Many Eastern Orthodox countries continue to use the older Julian calendar for religious purposes.


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