All about Calendars’ History

The discovery of the oldest Calendar is based on a thorough examination of data from an archaeological site in northern Scotland—a set of ancient pits that scholars believe contain the world’s oldest Calendar. It is almost 5,000 years older than its nearest competitor, a Bronze Age Mesopotamian calendar.

Archaeologists believe Stone Age Britons built the network of trenches some 10,000 years ago to mirror the months of the year and lunar phases. They believe it also enabled the observation of the midwinter sunrise, which is the start of a new year, allowing the lunar Calendar to be re-calibrated yearly to match the solar year.

The Sun’s Nature Provided Enough Calendar History to Produce a Calendar.

Few things in this world can be relied on, yet the sun is dependable, consistent, and unwavering. Its cycle is consistent year after year, making its replication by individuals of all ages reasonable.

The moon’s form will change at the same time each month. It will begin as a crescent that covers the night sky, then diminishes throughout thirty sunsets and sunrises. The stars will also travel across the sky, returning to their original places after about 365 sunrises and sunsets.

Humans have been observing night patterns for as long as they can stand with their backs straight and gaze up at the sky. They’ve also attempted to forecast and measure such motions with good cause. They could forecast weather changes by counting days and the moon’s passage.

The lengthening or shortening of the days signaled the arrival of winter to these ancient people. They would know when to grow crops when to search for specific animals, when to expect their animals to give birth, and when to thank the gods.

Today, we use those days to arrange meetings, trips, events, and other activities on our Calendars.

Our past depends on using a calendar to manage our days in our time. This article will examine how the Calendar evolved and how we utilize it now.

Calendars in Antiquity

British archaeologists announced the discovery of the world’s oldest Calendar in 2013. Warren Field in Scotland has twelve pits lined with the southeast horizon. They pointed to a hill linked with the midwinter solstice dawn. Archeologists think that hunter-gatherers used the holes to measure the moon’s height and stage to monitor the time of the sun and the changing seasons.

The Scottish Calendar is about 10,000 years old, making the Warren Field in Scotland around twice as old as Stonehenge (discovered in 1978). People are better familiar with the Stonehenge sight, an ancient stone circle in the south of England that corresponds to the solstices.

The difficulty in understanding these sites is that they were developed and built by Neolithic people at a time when there were no written records. Archaeologists have studied the shape and position of the stones and the contents of surrounding burial sites to determine what other rituals were carried out here and what other mysteries the sites may reveal.

Although the tower is capable of serving as a calendar, indicating the times of the equinoxes and solstices, Stonehenge is more likely to have been a venue for performing rituals at specified times of the year than a mechanism to keep track of time (which are not precisely the same thing). According to recent discoveries, the Stonehenge site was thought to have therapeutic and restorative qualities. Hunters may have utilized the Warren Field (Scotland) not just to advise them “times of the year to cultivate or harvest” but also to teach them when to search for certain types of migrating animals.

Evidence for specific skills is required to await civilization’s beginning and the first recorded calendars.

While early man may have employed both views to measure time, others believe they were not utilized to keep track of time permanently. The findings demonstrate that Neolithic peoples had a firm grasp of time and understood that cycles could be predicted across time. Some sights suggest the capacity to track the passage of weeks or months.

The Babylonian Calendar’s History

The first settlements arose between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which flowed from the Taurus mountains in northeastern Turkey. The headwaters split and flow south through Syria and Iraq, with additional tributaries from Iran joining them before entering the Persian Gulf.

Ur was created some 3,800 years ago and was originally a seaside metropolis. Because of changes in the geography, it is now more than 200 kilometers from the sea; yet, the Ur III empire would have once reached up across most of modern Iraq, embracing several lesser towns.

Before Ur integrated them, those towns would have had their calendars with their names for the months of the year, according to cuneiform writing on clay tablets. Nippur, for example, had months called “du6-ku33,” which translates as “Shiny Mound,” and “kin-Dianna,” which translates as “Work of Inanna.”

Umma had months that meant “Harvest,” “Barley at the quay,” and “Firstfruit (offerings).” Each city had an “Extra” month that allowed them to reset the Calendar as a leap year does.

The conquests of King Shulgi, who ruled in the 21st century BC, combined various calendars into the Umma calendar, which served as the foundation for the Babylonian Calendar. Like the Julian calendar, the Umma calendar had twelve months with a thirteenth month every four years.

Ara Nisnu, the “Month of the Sanctuary,” begins the Calendar in the spring, around March or April in the Gregorian Calendar. The “Month of the Bull,” which corresponds to the zodiac sign Taurus, comes next. The seventh month is known as the “Month of the Beginning,” marking the start of the year’s second half, followed by the “Month of Laying Foundations.”

Babylonian weeks would have been nothing out of the ordinary. Every seventh day was designated a rest day, with officials forbidden from partaking in specific tasks. According to the Babylonian Calendar, these identical actions could not be performed on the 28th day of each month. On each rest day, Babylonians gave gifts to a different god. The length of the last week was probably the oddest characteristic of a Babylonian month. Each week was seven days long, but during the lunar cycle, the month lasted 29 or 30 days, making the last week of each month eight or nine days long.

The History of the Egyptian Calendar

The Babylonian Empire existed from roughly 1896 BC to 539 BC, peaking during King Hammurabi’s reign (1792 BC to 1750 BC). At the same time as the Babylonians were looking forward to the month’s long final weekend, the Egyptian kingdom was expanding in the west.

Egyptian calendar
Egyptian calendar

Scholars debate the existence of early Egyptian calendars based on the ascension of Sirius or the occurrence of a 360-day year. However, Egyptians were interested in the annual cycle as early as 3,000 BC. The regular flooding of the Nile piqued their curiosity. The monsoon sends torrential rainfall to the Ethiopian highlands south of Egypt every year between May and August, according to the Gregorian Calendar. The waters fall into the Nile, forcing the river’s banks to overflow.

The floods decided the size of the harvest. A network of dams and dikes channeled floodwater into fields, saturating the soil. The water gathered in the fields had to be enough to sustain crop growth throughout the dry season. A low flood resulted in a dismal harvest.

However, the floods also determined the year’s pattern. The Egyptian Calendar was split into three seasons. The Flood Season, which lasted from June to September, was when the Nile overflowed and overwhelmed the crops. “Emergence” lasted from late October through early January. Finally, the Low Water or harvest season lasted from February until May. The months within those seasons had numerals throughout the early dynasties of Egyptian history – “First Month of the Flood,” “Second Month of the Flood,” and so on. However, by the Middle Kingdom, the months had acquired names that have mostly persisted from the New Kingdom and Greek calendars to the modern Coptic calendar.

The Nile Calendar is a calendar based on the Nile River.

The year was constituted by three regular periods defined by the rise and fall of the Nile. They were as important to the Scottish Isles’ hunter-gatherers as migratory birds were but no more predictable. While the sun and moon rise and set in predictable patterns, the arrival of the monsoon, like the flight of storks, depends on weather systems that change yearly.

While the seasonal Calendar enabled Egyptian farmers to forecast when to open their dams and plant their seeds, it was far less useful for anticipating and noting other events that occurred throughout the year.

Egypt had also developed a civic calendar by the time of the Old Kingdom when the pyramids were erected. The Civil Calendar was most likely based on the migration of Sirius, a star that reappeared in the sky about the time the Nile began to flood.

The civil year consisted of twelve months of 30 days and one month of five days, for a total of 365 days. Due to the lack of a leap year, the movement of the stars eventually became out of sync with the names of the months. The Egyptians devised a Sothic Cycle when the visibility of Sirius receded during the Calendar. Sirius would reappear in the Calendar every 1,461 Egyptian civil years.

The Julian Calendar

We had many millennia of experimenting done with numerous calendrical systems and multiple ways of designating time by the time the Roman Empire was established. Stone circles and stone marks were present. We had lunar calendars as well as solar and lunar calendar combinations.

We were still not getting it properly. The time it took the Earth to circle the sun could not be measured in entire days. When a civilization couldn’t count a whole day, calendars in different places and worldwide fell out of sync with the seasons regularly. If a calendar is out of sync with the seasons, it is also out of rhythm with the stars and the moon’s movement.

The early Roman calendars were mediocre at best. These calendars, too, began as lunar calendars, charting the moon’s progression over 29.5 days. They only lost ten or eleven days a year with the early Roman calendars. Simultaneously, early Rome had a nundinal cycle borrowed from the Etruscans. The nundinal cycle was an eight-day week culminating in a market or festival. Farmers would travel to town to buy and sell things. Children had no school that day, and slave-owners urged their slaves not to have too much fun.

In early Rome, a year was thought to be made up of 38 such nundinal cycles, split into ten months of 30 or 31 days. It is uncertain how the Romans dealt with the following days. Some academics argue that the Romans ignored them. In contrast, others claim that the early Romans conducted intercalation, putting extra days into the Calendar to cover the gap and ensure that the Calendar remained in sync with the seasons.

Beware of the Ides, Kalends, and Nones.

The fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Roman Republic prompted another change in the Calendar. The Romans were now inspired by Greek calendars, which split the year into twelve lunar months, with 29 and 30 days alternated. On the other hand, the Romans assigned 31-day months to the third, fifth, seventh, and tenth months. Except for February, which had 28 days and 29 days in each leap year, every other month had 29 days.

Each month was also meticulously separated. The Romans named the start of the month “kalends,” where the English term “calendar” comes from. The day before the middle of the month was known as the “ides,” and the eight days before the ides (or nine days counting inclusively) were known as the “nones.” Those times are thought to represent the lunar beginnings of the Calendar and to commemorate the sightings of the crescent moon, quarter moon, and full moon.

We can begin to observe and comprehend some facts regarding the origins of the Calendar we use today. We especially notice the usage of an intercalary month in February to keep the months in sync with the seasons. However, there was one notable change in the Roman Calendar.

Control over intercalation shifted to the high priests after the formation of the Roman Republic. They could prolong or reduce the terms of the consuls they backed by altering the number of days in February. It was as if a political party could choose a year and make it longer while in government. The priests might manipulate the Calendar.

The Julian Calendar’s History

Julius Caesar suggested a Roman calendar change in 48 BC. Because the high priests were ready to change the year length to accommodate the rule of their political friends or to omit intercalation if it suited them, the Calendar became out of sync with the year. Because of the Second Punic War against Carthage and the Civil Wars, few individuals outside of Rome recognized the current date. The Calendar featured just five intercalary months instead of eight between 63 and 46 BC and none between 51 and 46 BC. Historians refer to these years as the “years of bewilderment.” Julius Caesar had spent time in Egypt and understood what day it was. He desired a more traditional method of keeping the Calendar.

When Caesar returned from his African expedition in 46 BC, he added two intercalary months between November and December, lengthening the year by 67 days. The year has expanded from 355 to 378 days, making the Calendar 445 days long in 46 BC.

After then, the reform added ten days to each year. Sextilis (now August) and December were given two more days in January. April, June, September, and November now have one extra day. February was still 28 days long. The former intercalary month was replaced with a new leap day placed before the kalends of March in the new Calendar. Although the Romans continued to record kalends, ideas, and nones, the pattern of the Calendar that would come to be followed by much of the contemporary world had been established.

The Months on Your Calendar Are Named

The new Calendar expanded across the empire as well as adjacent nations and client kingdoms, where calendars became 365 days with one leap day, originally every three years but subsequently every four.

The preceding months’ names remained essentially unaltered. January celebrated Janus, the deity of “fresh beginnings.” These gods are fascinating to examine for various reasons, but Janus had one head but two faces. In honor of this deity, one face might look forward to the future while the other faced back at the previous year. Every month, profound reflections, ideas, worries, and discussions arise to reach an agreement on viewpoints. These individuals took the Calendar quite seriously.

The month of February is most likely derived from the Februa festival. Mars was honoured in March. The origins of April, May, and June are unknown. However, they may have been taken from the Etruscan god Apr and the gods Maia and Juno. Another idea is that April derives from the Latin word “aperire,” which means “to open,” whereas May and June are archaic phrases for “senior” and “junior.”

The following months were given names based on their position in the Calendar. The fifth month was Quintilis, the sixth was Sextilis, the seventh was September, the eighth was October, the ninth was November, and the tenth was December. Because of the Julian reform, the months were shifted down the Calendar, and December became the twelfth month without altering its name. Quintilis, Julius Caesar’s birth month, became JIulius (“July” in English), while Sextilis became Augustus or August.

Other emperors attempted to rename months as well. Caligula attempted to commemorate his father by naming September “Germanicus.” Nero wanted April to be known as “Neroneus.” Domitian desired October to be known as “Domitianus.” These names were not memorable.

The Gregorian Calendar’s History

The Julian Calendar performed admirably, although it was not entirely accurate. The Calendar believed that a year had exactly 365.25 days. The Earth revolves around the sun every 365.2422 days, and the difference of eleven minutes each year was enough to throw the Calendar out of sync with the equinoxes by around three days every 400 years.

Saint Bede, an English Benedictine monk, had previously recognized that the Calendar had shifted by three days by the seventh century. Five hundred years later, Roger Bacon estimated that it was a week or two out of sync; by 1300, Dante discussed the necessity for total calendar reform.

The church had difficulties as a result of the Calendar’s shift. The date of the spring equinox, which the church had decided fell on March 21, set the date of Easter. By the fifteenth century, the equinox had moved forward nearly ten days.

Work on modifying the Calendar began in 1545. The Council of Trent gave Pope Paul III the authority to change the dates so that the spring equinox coincided with the equinox at the time of the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The Nicaean Council also requested a new method of maintaining time to prevent Easter from slipping through the Calendar again.

Aloysius Lilius fix the Calendar.

Whatever the Calendar’s flaws, labor in the sixteenth century required excessive time. It wasn’t until 1577 that the reform committee requested input from mathematicians. Aloysius Lilius, an Italian doctor and astronomer, submitted the winning concept. He proposed canceling leap years for the following forty years to allow the equinox to catch up with the Calendar. He then proposed a new formula for calendar stabilization.

Rather than adding a day every four years, if a leap year happened on a year divisible by 100, a day would be added only if the year was also divisible by 400. In 1600, one day would be added, making it a leap year, but not in the years 1700, 1800, or 1900. The year 2000 was a leap year, but the year 2100 will not be. As a result, instead of adding a leap day every 100 days, it would be added just 97 times out of 400. These additions and subtractions guaranteed that the Calendar was brought back into alignment regularly.

The new Calendar was established on Friday, October 15, 1582, under Gregory XIII’s pontificate. According to the Julian calendar, the previous day was Thursday, October 4. Spain was the first to embrace the new Calendar, followed by Portugal, France, Poland, Italy, the Catholic Low Countries, and Luxembourg. Two years later, the Kingdom of Bohemia adopted the Calendar. In 1610, Prussia embraced the Calendar. Protestant countries were reluctant to accept the Calendar, fearing it would bring them closer to Rome. Britain did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752. Greece didn’t adopt the Calendar until 1923, and Turkey didn’t come until 1926.

The Julian calendar’s inaccuracy of one day every 128 years was rectified by the Gregorian Calendar, which replaced it with an error of one day every 3,030 years. Sir John Herschel, an English mathematician from the nineteenth century, proposed improving calendar accuracy by avoiding making the year 4000 and its multiples a leap year. He was completely disregarded.

Local calendars are still used.

We’ve traveled through thousands of years of history. We’ve seen calendars evolve from stone configurations used to mark the solstice and anticipate the return of migratory animals to star tracking and month counting. Throughout the history of the Calendar, we’ve seen numerous civilizations and empires struggle to create a means of numbering days and months in a year. The difficulty was accounting for the extra quarter-day the Earth takes to return to its starting point. They’d watch the calendar slide across the year if they didn’t account for that period. We’ve also seen some inventive titles for the months created by those calendars.

The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar effectively ended the evolution of the Calendar. Lilius’ adjustment, implemented during Gregory XIII’s pontificate, ensured that the year was finally always right and only infrequently needed to be corrected. The expansion of the Calendar across Christendom, and from there around the world, means that everyone on the planet now uses the same timepiece.

The Julian Calendar Is Still In Use

The Calendar isn’t the only means to keep track of time. The Gregorian Calendar is not the only one still in use. While everyone can locate the same day on the same Calendar, people worldwide use different calendars. Even throughout Europe, the Gregorian Calendar was not universal. The Julian calendar still reigns supreme in Greece’s autonomous territory of Mount Athos. The province consists of twenty Orthodox monasteries, and women are not permitted to visit the island.

The Julian calendar was used by Orthodox churches, if not Orthodox countries. These kingdoms even resisted a lunar calendar corresponding to the Gregorian Calendar until 2800. In 1923, a synod (congress, committee) in Constantinople proposed the Calendar. Except for the Estonian and Finnish Orthodox Churches, Orthodox churches continue to observe Christian holidays according to the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar. Other places and religions have followed their traditional calendars as well.

The Jewish Calendar

The Gregorian Calendar and the Hebrew calendar are used in Israel. The Gregorian Calendar will be utilized for all secular activities, such as scheduling school breaks, scheduling business meetings, and honouring birthdays. The Hebrew calendar, however, determines the dates of religious holidays – thus, there is a Jewish holiday virtually every month. Similarly, the Jewish Calendar determines the Torah section to be read on Shabbat. It’s also used to set the dates for memorial services to remember a loved one who has died.

As a result of the Jewish captivity in Babylon, which ended in the sixth century BCE, the Hebrew calendar is heavily affected by the Babylonian Calendar. According to the Bible, the Hebrew calendar before the exile consisted of ten months of thirty days each. Only four months are mentioned in the Bible: Aviv (which means “spring”), Ziv, Ethanim, and Bul. These names are thought to be Canaanite in origin. Following the Babylonian exile, the months’ names more closely followed those of the Babylonian Calendar.

The way the days are measured differs significantly between the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars. The Hebrew calendar considers a day to begin at sunset. Shabbat begins when the sun goes down on Friday evening. The Shabbat day concludes when the sun sets the next day.

However, how the months are measured is as essential. The Gregorian Calendar is a solar calendar. It is dependent on the sun’s relative position to the stars. The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which means that the months are based on lunar months (taking into account moon phases), while the years are based on solar years. This Calendar comprises twelve lunar months, each of which lasts 29 or 30 days.

The Buddhist Year

The Buddhist calendar follows the lunisolar Calendar as well. It is largely utilized in the mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand — with various modifications and adaptations in other countries worldwide. The traditional Buddhist Calendar is mostly utilized for Theravada Buddhist events, and no official Buddhist calendar status exists anywhere.

The Buddhist Calendar parallels the Hindu calendar in terms of tracking the motions of the Moon and Sun. Because of the “sidereal year” and the 19-year cycle used to establish the distribution of leap years based on the length of a tropical year, this Calendar is slightly incorrect when representing the length of a solar year and the start of the seasons.

Metonic Cycle

A solar year is eleven days longer than a lunar year. The Hebrew calendar is now eleven days behind the solar Calendar. Without correction, the holidays would deviate from the seasons. The advent of leap months provided the remedy. Unlike the Gregorian Calendar, the Hebrew calendar adds leap months seven times every nineteen months rather than every four years.

Meton of Athens created the Metonic cycle in the fifth century BC. Meton discovered, like the Babylonians, that nineteen years is equivalent to 6,940 days. Adding seven more months over nineteen years would be sufficient to correct the Calendar.

Using the Metonic cycle isn’t the only issue. The Calendar can also be adjusted so that Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, does not come before or after Shabbat. The month of Kislev may lose a day, whereas the month of Cheshvan may gain a day. As a result, we have a somewhat complicated calendar that most people disregard. The Hebrew dates will appear at the top of newspapers; otherwise, these calendars will be used to record Jewish festivals.

The Islamic Yearbook

The Jewish Calendar makes every effort to keep in sync with the solar Calendar. The Calendar also adjusts the lengths of the months. A holiday determined by the month should not conflict with a holiday determined by the week. The Islamic Calendar follows a simpler path. It is completely incorrect. It comprises twelve lunar months, which total 354 or 355 days. This will consider the difference between the 365.25 days of the solar year. According to this computation, the Islamic Calendar deviates by around ten days yearly. The cycle only occurs once every 33 lunar years.

As a result, depending on the position of the Calendar, Ramadan, the month of fasting, might take place in the summer or winter. That is why, in most Islamic nations, the Islamic Calendar is exclusively used for religious festivals and not for civic activities. The Gregorian Calendar is used to record these public events. Iran and Afghanistan, which follow the solar Hijri calendar, are the exceptions to the “civil event rule.”

The Hijri Calendar Year

The Islamic Calendar is likewise based on the Hijri year. This Calendar was created when Muhammad and his followers traveled from Mecca to Medina to establish the first Muslim community. This occurrence occurred in 622 AD and marked the beginning of the yearly count. 2019 in the Gregorian Calendar is 1440, according to the Islamic Calendar. (According to the Hebrew calendar, the year is 5779.)

The Islamic Calendar is divided into twelve months, each beginning with a new lunar cycle. Each month has its importance as well. The holy months are Rajab, Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram. Ramadan is a fasting month. Shawwal means “raised,” and it is supposed to be when camels are in calf (with calf), indicating that they are pregnant. Sha’ban, “scattered,” denotes the season when Arab tribes dispersed in search of water. The hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is undertaken on Dhu al-Hijjah.

Two months, two countries

Another issue that the Calendar confronts is that most Muslim nations mark the beginning of a new month by watching the rise of the new moon. Each country will conduct its investigation. However, as you travel west, the sun sets later, and the moon may be easier or harder to see in one location than in another. As a result, two Muslim countries could be in different months simultaneously.

There are plans in the works to try to solve the situation. Malaysia, for example, is one of the numerous nations that begins the month not with the sighting of the new moon but with the setting of the moon after sunset on the first day of the month. Some representative organizations have stated their desire to utilize calculations rather than observations to establish the months. Still, not all associations have agreed, and not all those who stated their intention have followed through.

It’s a difficult affair, which means the Islamic Calendar is not just out of sync with the solar year and the Gregorian Calendar. The Islamic Calendar is occasionally out of sync with other Islamic calendar users.

The Chinese Yearbook

The Chinese Calendar is more of a mechanism for assigning personal traits based on the birthday than tracking time. The Chinese Calendar is based on the Chinese zodiac. This Calendar is notable because of the massive celebration that takes place at the start of the year, generally around February. The Chinese Calendar is too important to ignore because it causes more than a billion people to pause and celebrate the new year.

Although the Western astrological Calendar corresponds to the constellations in the sky at the time of someone’s birth, the Chinese calendar cycles through twelve animals over a year, an ancient fable describes the animal hierarchy.

The Origins of the Chinese Calendar

According to the Jade Emperor, the first animal to cross a river would be the first in the Calendar. The second animal would go next, and so on. The cat and the rat requested a ride from the ox. The rat pushed the cat into the river when the ox approached the shore. The rat then hopped off the bull and was the first to arrive. After the ox, the tiger came, followed by the rabbit, who had leaped from rock to rock. The rabbit then jumped onto a blown-to-the-shore log.

The Dragon came in fifth place. This Dragon had come to a halt to send rain to a settlement before blowing the rabbit’s log to the shore. The horse arrived, clutching the snake to its hoof. The snake came in sixth, while the horse came in seventh. The rooster had discovered a raft on which she and the monkey and goat rode. The goat came in eighth, the monkey in ninth, and the rooster in tenth place.

What Became of the Cat?

The dog had paused to play in the water, so he arrived in tenth place, but he still beat the pig, which had stopped for a meal and then fallen asleep. But even the pig outperformed the cat. When the rat pushed the cat into the river, she drowned.

It’s a lovely story (except for the cat), and the Chinese Calendar plays an important part in contemporary Chinese society. This Calendar commemorates the country’s most important festival, and people will know which animal they were born under. They may not realize that, like Western astrological signs, each sign corresponds to a month and a year’s season.

The tiger, for example, relates to Aquarius and Pisces and lasts from February through March. The Dragon runs from early April to early May, crossing Aries and Taurus. Even the days of the week correspond to zodiac animals: Monday corresponds to the goat; Tuesday corresponds to the Dragon and pig; Wednesday corresponds to the horse and rooster, and so on. The Chinese Calendar largely dictates when to light the fireworks and what decorations to put up in February.

Calendars from Mesoamerica

So far, we’ve concentrated on calendars developed in Europe and Asia, but Mesoamerica also developed indigenous calendar systems. Some of these calendars can still be found in use today. Many of these calendars are no longer widely used, but some groups in Guatemala’s highlands and parts of Mexico continue to use them.

That’s an issue since the most frequent Calendar in use among Mesoamerican tribes is a ceremonial calendar. This Calendar is 260 days long and has no connection to farming cycles or astronomical movements.

The Calendar’s origins are unknown. Every year, 260 days pass between the sun’s two zeniths in Izapa, Mexico, the site of a 3,200-year-old town. The location might be one source of the Calendar, but it could also be the product of the Maya civilization’s fascination with the numbers thirteen and twenty. Another theory connects the Calendar to the length of a human pregnancy, but the origin of this practice is unknown.

The Mayans referred to the Calendar as “tzolk’in.” They named twenty days and assigned thirteen numbers to them. There was no day or month, but each day had a name and a number, and it took the Calendar 260 days to complete the cycle. Each day was also associated with a natural occurrence, such as a crocodile or death. On stone sculptures, days are represented by glyphs (such as a hieroglyph, symbol, or image). The Aztecs utilized a similar calendar known as “tonalpohualli,” which means “day count” in Nahuatl.

The Aztec Calendar, like many others, combined a 20-day cycle known as “veinenas” with 13 days known as “trecenas.” The days included glyphs representing Aztec deities such as Quetzalcoatl and Mayahuel.

The tonalpohualli was only 260 days long. However, the Aztecs developed a second calendar closer to the solar Calendar. The “xiuhphualli” consisted of eighteen months, each lasting 20 days, with a five-day break at the conclusion. That made the year 365 days long. Every 52 years, Xiuhphualli would align with Tonalpohualli.

Calendars on paper

The introduction of parchment and paper made producing and utilizing calendars much easier. The Chronography of 354 is one of the earliest paper calendars. In the fourth century, a rich Roman Christian named Valentinus commissioned Furius Dionysius Folocalus to sketch and write the Calendar (as they understood it).

The original did not survive, but scribes copied it until the ninth century, with additional copies made in the seventeenth century.

The Chronography of 354 calendars is more of an almanack than a calendar; it records yearly events and includes Christmas. That festival inclusion is remarkable in a calendar created just as Rome was transitioning from pagan beliefs to a rising Christianity. The Calendar is also richly painted, featuring pictures of the emperors and personifications of Rome, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Trier. The Calendar features seven planets and their orbits, as well as the zodiac signs. Calendar dates other than Christmas include the dates of Easter from 312 to 411 AD and the commemoration dates of popes and Christian martyrs.

Carthaginian Calendar

The Calendar of Carthage was a stunning work of art. However, it demonstrates that in its earliest forms, the paper calendar still marked set events rather than recording personal habits. The Calendar was used in the same way for centuries after that. The Calendar of Carthage dates from the sixth century and commemorates all of Carthage’s bishops, from Gratus (c.343-348 AD) through Eugenius (481-505 AD).

There is also a long list of feast days for various martyrs, bishops, and saints on the Carthage calendar. May alone has 10 of these days, while January has eleven. On bthere is a feast for “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” With so many saints to remember and honour, it’s no surprise that the church needed almanacks to keep track of them all.

Using calendars — or planners — to keep track of personal events is relatively new. Many of the first calendars were almanacks with extra space or pages for readers to fill up their entries. The majority of these relics have been lost. It’s pointless to preserve an almanack once someone has used it.

  1. We’re a group of volunteers and tarting a rand new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with…

  2. I very delighted to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for as well saved to…

, ,

Leave a Comment