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Tercentenary

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Tercentenary

For other uses, see Anniversary (disambiguation).

An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event. The word was first used for Catholic feasts to commemorate saints.

Anniversary names

  • Birthdays (v.) are the most common type of anniversary, where the birth date of a person is commemorated annually. The actual celebration is sometimes moved for practical reasons, as in the case of an official birthday.
  • Wedding anniversaries are also often celebrated on the same day of the year as the wedding occurred.
  • Death anniversary.

The Latin phrase dies natalis (literally "birth day") has become a common term, adopted in many languages, especially in intellectual and institutional circles, for the anniversary of the founding ("legal or statutory birth") of an institution, such as an alma mater (college or other school). Even in ancient Rome, we know of the [dies] Aquilae natalis ("birthday of the eagle", anniversary of the official founding of a legion).

Most countries around the world celebrate national anniversaries, for example the USA Bicentennial. These could be the date of independence of the nation or the adoption of a new constitution or form of government. The important dates in a sitting monarch's reign may also be commemorated, an event often referred to as a "Jubilee".

Anniversaries of nations are usually marked by the number of years elapsed described with Latin words or Roman numerals.

Latin-derived numerical names

Latin terms for anniversaries are mostly straightforward, particularly those relating to the first twenty years (1–20), those relating to multiples of ten years (30, 40, 60, 70 etc.), and those relating to multiples of centuries or millennia (100, 200, 300, 1000, 2000, 3000 etc.) In these instances, the anniversary generally comes from a derivative of the Latin word for the respective number of years. However, when anniversaries relate to fractions of centuries (125, 150, 175, 250 years—i.e., 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, and 2.5 centuries), the situation is not as simple.

Roman fractions were based on a duodecimal system. From 112 to 812 they were described as multiples of twelfths (uncia "twelfth"; the source of the English words inch and ounce) and from 912 to 1112 they were described as multiple-twelfths less than the next whole unit—i.e., a whole unit less 312, 212 or 112 respectively. There were also special terms for quarter (quadrans), half (semis), and three-quarters (dodrans). Dodrans is a Latin contraction of de-quadrans which means "a whole unit less a quarter" (de means "from"; quadrans means "quarter". Thus for the example of 175 years, the term is a quarter century less than the next whole (bi)century or 175 = (-25 + 200).[1]

In Latin it seems that this rule did not apply literally for 1½. Whereas "secundus" is Latin for "second", or "bis" for "twice" these terms are not used such as in sesqui-secundus. Instead just sesqui (or ses) is used by itself. This may be because it relates to a ratio of one—thus it means "and a half" compared to "one". (It may also be because 18 in Latin is sescuncia, sescunciae (from sesqui- + uncia, i.e., 1½ uncias) defined as one-and-a-half twelfths (32 × 112 = 18).)

Anniversary Preferred Term Other Terms Comments
½ yearly Biannual Semiannual
1 year Annual Paper
2 years Biennial Cotton
3 years Triennial Leather
4 years Quadrennial Linen
5 years Quinquennial Wood
6 years Sexennial Iron
7 years Septennial Wool
8 years Octennial Bronze
9 years Novennial Copper
10 years Decennial Tin/Aluminium
11 years Undecennial Steel
12 years Duodecennial Silk
13 years Tredecennial Lace
14 years Quattuordecennial Ivory
15 years Quindecennial Crystal
20 years Vigintennial / Vicennial China/Porcelain
25 years Quadranscentennial Silver Jubilee Probably a modern coined term.
50 years Semicentennial / Quinquagenary Golden Jubilee
60 years Sexagennial / Sexagenary Diamond Jubilee of monarchs
70 years Septuagennial Platinum Jubilee of monarchs
75 years Dodranscentennial Diamond Jubilee Dodrans is a Latin contraction of de-quadrans which means "a whole unit less a quarter" (de means "from"; quadrans means "quarter". 75 years is a quarter century less than a whole century or 75 = (-25 + 100).[1]
Dodracentennial Alternative Latin form of Dodranscentennial
Dequascentennial Alternative Latin form of Dodranscentennial
Semisesquicentennial Probably[attribution needed] a modern coined term. Demisesquicentennial or Hemisesquicentennialis are other similar variants.
100 years Centennial Centenary / platinum jubilee
125 years Quasquicentennial Term is broken down as quasqui- (and a quarter) centennial (100 years). Quasqui is a contraction from quadrans "a quarter" plus the clitic conjunction -que "and". The term was coined by Funk and Wagnalls editor Robert L. Chapman in 1961.[2]
150 years Sesquicentennial Term broken down as sesqui- (one and a half) centennial (100 years)
175 years Dodransbicentennial - Dodrans is a Latin contraction of de-quadrans which means "a whole unit less a quarter" (de means "from"; quadrans means "quarter". 175 years is a quarter century less than the next whole (bi)century or 175 = (-25 + 200).[1]
Dodrabicentennial Alternative Latin form of Dodransbicentennial
Dequasbicentennial Alternative Latin form of Dodransbicentennial
Dosquicentennial Dosquicentennial has been used in modern times[3] and this is perhaps a modern contraction of "de-quadrans". However, it seems inappropriate to combine the terms que and de when dealing with such Roman fractions. In any event, if such a conjunction was appropriate then it would perhaps more likely have been "Dosquibicentennial" (but the result is little shorter anyway).[1]
Demisemiseptcentennial Probably[attribution needed] a modern coined term: demisemiseptcentennial; literally one-half (demi-) x one-half (semi-) x seven (sept-) x 100 years (centennial)—also demisemiseptcentenary.[4][5]
Quartoseptcentennial Probably[attribution needed] a modern coined term: quartoseptcentennial; literally one-quarter (quarto-) x seven (sept-) x 100 years (centennial)—also quartoseptcentenary.[6]
Terquasquicentennial First used by Bell Laboratories in celebrating its 175th anniversary as a corporation. Is a coined word for an anniversary of 175 years, but the elements of the word literally refer to an anniversary of 375 years, as follows: ter- (3) × quasqui- (1¼) × centennial (100 years)
Septaquintaquinque-
centennial
Suggested by lexicographer Robert L. Chapman to William Safire; first appeared in Safire's column, "On Language" (The New York Times Magazine, February 12, 1995). It is a coined word for an anniversary of 175 years, but the elements of the word literally refer to an anniversary of 35,000 years, as follows: septaquinta- (70) × quinque- (5) × centennial (100 years)
200 years Bicentennial Bicentenary
250 years Sestercentennial - To express 2½ in Latin it would be expressed as "half-three". The term relates to being halfway [from the second] to the third integer. In Latin this is "Sestertius" which is a contraction of semis (halfway) tertius (third)—hence Sestercentennial.[1]
Semiquincentennial Probably[attribution needed] a modern coined term: semi- (half) × quin (5) × centennial (100 years) = 250 years
Bicenquinquagenary Used by Princeton University in 1996, Reading, Pennsylvania in 1998, and Washington and Lee University in 1999.[7] It is a coined word for an anniversary of 250 years, but the elements of the word literally refer to an anniversary of 10,000 years, as follows: bi- (2) × cen(t)- (100) × quinquagenary (50 years)
Quarter-millennial Meaning one quarter of one thousand years.[8]
300 years Tercentenary / Tricentenary Tercentennial / Tricentennial
350 years Sesquarcentennial - A modern coined term; sesquarcentennial for 350 years is deduced here from the "Sestertius" definition for 250 years above. For 350 years it relates to being halfway from the third to the fourth integer; thus a contraction of semis (halfway) and quartus (fourth); hence Sesquarcentennial.
Semiseptcentennial Probably[attribution needed] a modern coined term: semi- (half) × sept(7) × cen(t)- (100) × centennial (350 years)
400 years Quadricentennial Quadricentenary / Quatercentenary
500 years Quincentenary Quincentennial
600 years Sexcentenary Sex(a)centennial (?)
700 years Septcentennial Septuacentennial Probably[attribution needed] a coined term; earliest known use in March 1988.[9] Chiang Mai Septcentennial Stadium (Chiang Mai, Thailand) was completed in 1991.[10]
800 years Octocentenary Octocentennial
900 years Nonacentennial
1000 years Millennial
2000 years Bimillennial

Anniversary symbols

Many anniversaries have special names. Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home by Emily Post, published in 1922, contained suggestions for wedding anniversary gifts for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50 and 75 years.[11] Wedding anniversary gift suggestions for other years were added in later editions and publications; they now comprise what is referred to as the "traditional" list. Generally speaking, the longer the period, the more precious or durable the material associated with it. See wedding anniversary for a general list of the wedding anniversary symbols; however, there are variations in some national traditions.

Furthermore, there exist numerous partially overlapping, partially contradictory lists of anniversary gifts (such as wedding stones), separate from the 'traditional' names.

The concepts of a person's birthday stone and zodiac stone, by contrast, are fixed for life according to the day of the week, month or astrological sign corresponding to the recipient's birthday.

See also

Holidays portal

References

Sources and external links

  • Creative Anniversary Calculator
  • Extensive (and often contradictory) lists of anniversary names from The Math Forum - Ask Dr. Math
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