One of the 5 or 6 → epagomenal days added to the 12 months of 30 days each in the → French Republican Calendar. Sansculottides began on September 17 or 18 and approximately ended on the → autumnal equinox, on September 22 or 23 of the → Gregorian calendar. These days were kept as festivals of Virtue, Genius, Labor, Opinion, and Rewards. There was a sixth Sanculottide, called Revolution, in → leap years.
From Fr. sans-culotte, literally "without knee breeches," a revolutionary of the lower class in the French revolution. The appellation was originally a term of contempt applied by the aristocrats but later was adopted as a popular name by the French revolutionaries. It refers to the fashionable culottes (silk knee breeches) of the aristocrats as distinguished from the working class sans-culottes, who traditionally wore pantalons (long trousers).