Why 12/13/14 could be a day to remember
Dozen Sequential Calendar Dates… Last One in the Century!
It won’t happen again this century, but Saturday is 12/13/14 on the Gregorian calendar. For some it’s a minor curiosity, for others it’s their wedding day — or a signal to call their mother.
There are a dozen sequential dates every century, and most people won’t live to see the next one in 89 years. It’s also unique because it is made of four sequential digits 1, 2, 3 and 4, says Aziz Inan, professor of electrical Engineering at the University of Portland in Portland, Ore. Among the first 11 such sequential dates that already occurred in this century, only 01‐02‐03 had the same property since it is also made of four sequential digits (0, 1, 2 and 3). “There’s no question that these types of dates get the attention of the people,” he says.
Unusual dates in the Gregorian calendar are memorable. The last notable such date was 12-12-12. “Somebody doesn’t have to understand mathematics to pay attention to these dates,” Inan says. “They have a hidden power. It’s something that’s easy to remember 20 or 30 years later. I see them as a fun dimension for people.” An unusual event or date can prompt people to reflect on the passing of time or their own mortality like with Halley’s Comet, which last visible from earth in 1986 and won’t come around again until 2061.
But funny dates are often just another reason to celebrate life, live in the moment — and provide a marketing opportunity for venues — and wedding planners. Approximately 21,000 couples on the wedding site TheKnot.com have set Saturday for their wedding; that’s nearly five times more popular than any other Saturday in December 2014. And many of those people are staying close to home. Only 5% of weddings taking place on 12/13/14 are destination weddings compared to just over 10% for the rest of December, according to The Knot.com.
For married couples or singletons, it’s an opportunity to do something different. “Some people might think ‘Maybe I should do something special with my friends, or call my mother,” Inan says. Numerically speaking, it doesn’t have any great meaning, and the chance of winning on the lottery is likely to decrease if more people decide to play. “I pay attention to these dates because of their beauty and numerical property,” he says. “It makes me happy to keep track of them.”
Just as well he doesn’t live in Europe where the date is registered as 13/12/14.