First Sunday in Lent
Ascension day or Holy Thursday
Pentecost or Whitsunday
The Gregorian calendar was introduced into Spain, Portugal and part of Italy the same day as at Rome. In France it was received in the same year in the month of December, and by the Catholic states of Germany the year following. In the Protestant states of Germany the Julian calendar was adhered to till the year 1700, when it was decreed by the diet of Regensburg that the new style and the Gregorian correction of the intercalation should be adopted. Instead, however, of employing the golden numbers and epacts for the determination of Easter and the movable feasts, it was resolved that the equinox and the paschal moon should be found by astronomical computation from the Rudolphine tables. But this method, though at first view it may appear more accurate, was soon found to be attended with numerous inconveniences, and was at length in 1774 abandoned at the instance of Frederick II., king of Prussia. In Denmark and Sweden the reformed calendar was received about the same time as in the Protestant states of Germany. It is remarkable that Russia still adheres to the Julian reckoning.
In Great Britain the alteration of the style was for a long time successfully opposed by popular prejudice. The inconvenience, however, of using a different date from that employed by the greater part of Europe in matters of history and chronology began to be generally felt; and at length the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 was passed for the adoption of the new style in all public and legal transactions. The difference of the two styles, which then amounted to eleven days, was removed by ordering the day following the 2nd of September of the year 1752 to be accounted the 14th of that month; and in order to preserve uniformity in future, the Gregorian rule of intercalation respecting the secular years was adopted. At the same time, the commencement of the legal year was changed from the 25th of March to the 1st of January. In Scotland, January 1st was adopted for New Year's Day from 1600, according to an act of the privy council in December 1599. This fact is of importance with reference to the date of legal deeds executed in Scotland between that period and 1751, when the change was effected in England. With respect to the movable feasts, Easter is determined by the rule laid down by the council of Nice; but instead of employing the new moons and epacts, the golden numbers are prefixed to the days of the full moons.
In those years in which the line of epacts is changed in the Gregorian calendar, the golden numbers are removed to different days, and of course a new table is required whenever the solar or lunar equation occurs. The golden numbers have been placed so that Easter may fall on the same day as in the Gregorian calendar. The calendar of the church of England is therefore from century to century the same in form as the old Roman calendar, excepting that the golden numbers indicate the full moons instead of the new moons.