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Old July 13th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #1
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National days concentrate in summer and early fall


I find that national days of the countries in the world concentrate in summer and early fall. According to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ependence_days
I summarize the months in which the countries observe their national days (excluding special ones such as Israel, whose national day can vary between April 15 and May 15). The first column is month and the second the count of countries:

April 7
January 8
March 8
June 11
February 13
December 13
May 14
November 16
October 17
September 25
July 25
August 26

Using a different data set from
National Holidays by Country | Office Holidays
I get slightly different result:

Jan 5
Apr 12
Mar 13
Feb 15
May 16
Dec 16
Jun 18
Oct 19
Nov 20
Aug 24
Sep 26
Jul 33

As you can see, most countries announced their independence in July, August and September. I don't think this is completely accidental. What do you think the reason is?
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Old July 13th, 2015, 04:08 PM   #2

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maybe in most places it's harder to make a revolution in winter. bad weather, shorter days, cold, possibly snowing.
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Old July 13th, 2015, 05:23 PM   #3
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But then, bad weather is equally harsh to the other side, isn't it?

Or, maybe it benefits the defense more than the attack?
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Old July 21st, 2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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To continue this research, I want to test the hypothesis that low temperature in winter reduces the chance of independence, or rather, reduces the success rate of offense more than reduces the rate of defense. I come up with one idea to test it: Plot the national days according to the latitude of the countries. If a country is in the southern hemisphere, their winter is actually summer in the north. If the hypothesis is correct, we should see a reverse trend for those countries: their independence days will largely concentrate in (northern) winter months. In addition, the countries near the equator will have less correlation than those in higher latitude.

There's no "general" or "average" latitude of a country available. So I use the latitude of the capital of the country as an approximation. A capital is usually one of the most contended cities in an indepence war anyway. The result is in this image:
http://yong321.freeshell.org/image/L...alday-Plot.jpg

As we can see, there's no clear correlation between latitude and independence days. Both northern and southern hemisphere countries have more independence days in summer and early fall.

There's a small surge in February. It may be due to the fact that at the end and beginning of a year, people are more or less in a holiday mood. After that, the independence activity resumes, with a burst of pent-up steam.

(National Days are from National Holidays by Country | Office Holidays, and Capital latitude data are from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ls_by_latitude)

Last edited by yong321; July 21st, 2015 at 08:12 PM.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:09 AM   #5

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Spring was for planting, Fall was for Harvesting, Winter weather often restricted movement so "Summer" (give or take a few weeks on either end)
was the best time for campaigns. Weather was decent, many men could be pulled away from their farms and there was sufficient fodder for animals.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gustavolapizza View Post
maybe in most places it's harder to make a revolution in winter. bad weather, shorter days, cold, possibly snowing.
Finland's is December 6th which is not very good weather wise. The civil war broke _after_ that in January. Maybe people were just pi**ed off when they realized the upcoming freezing independence celebrations.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 07:03 AM   #7
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To Fire_Raven: But as I said in msg #4, the southern hemisphere countries have the reverse of the (northern hemisphere) seasons. Right? They still have more national days in July to early September. Why is that? Do they plant and harvest in the same months as us?
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 08:40 AM   #8

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I would say it's a small sample size.

Independence days can commemorate days when independence was achieved through armed struggle, when particular leaders were deposed, when treaties were signed and so on, not simply the announcement of independence.

Certain events may result in several independence days being close to one another, such as the fall of the Soviet Union. India and Pakistan were created at the same time, and their independence days are one day apart.

I don't think you can draw any meaningful conclusion.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 08:40 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yong321 View Post
To Fire_Raven: But as I said in msg #4, the southern hemisphere countries have the reverse of the (northern hemisphere) seasons. Right? They still have more national days in July to early September. Why is that? Do they plant and harvest in the same months as us?
As far as I know, they should have opposite harvests but how many of those independence days for nations in the Southern Hemisphere are from before the change to year round warfare in the last century and a half or so. And how many of those actually required fighting vs being gaining independence through other methods.
(I don't know the answer but wanted to put something out while I start poking through the lists)
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 09:10 AM   #10
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To Naomasa298: The total number of countries is more than 200, not a small sample size. If you plot the national days against the count in Excel, you'll see an obvious peak. I understand what you said. But you seem to suggest that all those factors equally contribute on the time distribution, which is not the case. If it were true, we would see a horizontal line with small ripples in the plot. If those factors do not contribute equally, they're exactly what I'm looking for.

To Fire_Raven: Countries in the southern hemisphere are not that many. But the concentration of national days to summer and early fall is still visible in the plot, and is probably still statistically significant. But since there're not many, we can individually study each case regarding the two points you mentioned. It's possible that they're systematically different from the countries in the north.
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