Does This Month Repeat Only Every 823 Years?

Is it true that the weekday pattern of a given month only happens every 823 years?

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It’s a hoax.

The occurrence of this configuration is actually quite common. The rumor is often presented with text explaining that this rare occurrence is said to bring good luck. Here is how the hoax was worded back in 2012:

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!! This year October has 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays and 5 Wednesdays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese Feng Shui. The one who does not copy, will be without money. Copy within 11 mins of reading. Can’t hurt so I did it :)

The rumor has varied over the years, adjusting the text for whichever month currently fits the pattern. We first reported this hoax in October 2012. It has resurfaced several times since then, including March 2013, and August 2014.

The latest version of the hoax states:

The only time you will witness this phenomenon in your life.

August 2014

This year, the month of August will count 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This phenomenon occurs only once every 823 years. Chinese people call it: “Pocketful of money!”

So… send this to all your friends and in 4 days, you will have a pleasant monetary surprise…

Based on Chinese Feng Shui. Whoever does not forward this message… could find himself without a clue of what’s going on in his life… and that’s no laughing matter.

Last time was in 1191 and next time will be in 2837!

aug2014-823-years

Despite the impressive claim, this pattern is actually quite a common occurrence. Looking at the Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday example, if you list every occasion this specific pattern of 5 Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, (across all months), you’ll find that it happens on average once a year. For any given month, the pattern repeats every several years. Take a look at the 20-year list of Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday occurrences below:

  • July 2002
  • December 2003
  • March 2004
  • August 2005
  • May 2006
  • January 2007
  • October 2007
  • December 2008
  • March 2010
  • August 2011
  • October 2012
  • July 2013
  • December 2014
  • August 2016
  • May 2017
  • January 2018
  • October 2018
  • July 2019
  • March 2021
  • August 2022

Images such as this are passed around with false claims of an 823 year pattern. This graphic was heavily shared in 2012.

Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday

As you can see, months containing 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, and 5 Wednesday occurs 20 times over a 20 year period from 2002 to 2022. For a specific month, such as October 2012, it will occur as often as 5 years and no more than 11 years. There is a pattern of re-occurrence for these months which, if we begin with October 2012, is

6 years (2018)
11 years (2029)
6 years (2035)
5 years (2040)

Thus, there will never be more 11 years before this same pattern repeats for a given month.

Other variants of the rumor state that it only happens for months beginning on a Saturday, or different days of the week, such as March 2013, which has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. The explanation and patterns above still apply.

Friday-Saturday-Sunday

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As stated, the pattern for any specific month to repeat the same days of the week is much shorter than 823 years. The current claim that August 2014 is unique can be debunked by looking at the calendar for future years.

August 2014 (Current)
August 2025 (11 years)
August 2031 (6 years)
August 2036 (5 years)

In each of the years listed above, August has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. August 2008 also had the same configuration.

If you look at the incidence of five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday for any month (not just August), it is quite common, and happens about once a year. The next occurrences will be in May 2015, January 2016, July 2016, and December 2017.

As far as the good luck “money bags” angle goes, there is nothing in Feng Shui regarding re-posting messages or calendars with 5 specific weekdays.

Bottom Line

The claim that August 2014 (or any month) has a unique pattern of 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays which will not reoccur for another 823 years is false. This pattern is quite common and occurs about once a year.

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  • David F

    I would also point out the obvious fact that the Chinese traditionally use a lunar, not a solar calendar, one which does not match Western months, weeks, or days in any way. This is the calendar used, for example, for calculating Lunar New Year, which shifts every year according to the Western calendar. If this did have anything to do with feng shui (which it does not), it would be based on the lunar, not the solar calendar. Nonsense with sauce, as the Germans say…

    • waffles

      Thank you for your addition to this article!