Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ancient Eurasian Calendars & Year Zero


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"The history of calendars spans several thousand years. In many early civilizations, calendar systems were developed. For example, in Sumer, the birthplace of the modern sexagesimal system, there were 12 months of 29 or 30 days apiece, much like the modern Gregorian calendar. Mesoamerican cultures also developed their own intricate calendars; the ancient Maya had two separate years—the 260-day Sacred Round, and the 365-day Vague Year. Classical Greek and Roman cultures also developed calendars; the ancient Athenians, for one, had a lunisolar calendar that lasted 364 days, with an intercalary month added every other year. The Romans used two different year lengths; the older one had 304 days divided into 10 months; the newer 365 days divided into 12 months; very much like the modern calendar. They counted years from the founding of Rome, or, sometimes, from the reign of the current consul."… ..

"The origins of the constellations in the Senenmut calendar are perhaps from about 2700 BC...the synchronization of the sun year and the moon loops in the symbolism as a whole."......

"A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year, then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season; if it is taken as a sidereal year, then the calendar will predict the constellation near which the full moon may occur. Usually there is an additional requirement that the year have a whole number of months, in which case most years have 12 months but every second or third year has 13……The Hebrew, Buddhist, Hindu, Burmese, Bengali, and Tibetan calendars, as well as the traditional Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian and Korean calendars, plus the ancient Hellenic, Coligny, and Babylonian calendars are all lunisolar. Also some of the ancient pre-Islamic calendars in South Arabia followed a lunisolar system. The Chinese, Coligny and Hebrew lunisolar calendars track more or less the tropical year whereas the Buddhist and Hindu lunisolar calendars track the sidereal year. Therefore, the first three give an idea of the seasons whereas the last two give an idea of the position among the constellations of the full moon. The Tibetan calendar was influenced by both the Chinese and Hindu calendars. The Germanic peoples also used a lunisolar calendar before their conversion to Christianity."….

Mal’ta, Irkutskaya Oblast, Russia....."The most well-known bone plate interpreted as a lunisolar calendar is from Ma’lta (Irkutskaya Oblast, Russia).....After studying Eurasian portable art the Russian investigator B.A. Frolov also became convinced that these objects were calendars following the monthly motion of the moon and/or yearly solar path, and claimed they were used by early communities."....Journal of Cosmology, 2011, Vol. 14.

"A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. Because there are about twelve lunations (synodic months) in a solar year, this period (354.37 days) is sometimes referred to as a lunar year…..A common purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri Qamari calendar. A feature of the Islamic calendar is that a year is always 12 months, so the months are not linked with the seasons and drift each solar year by 11 to 12 days. It comes back to the position it had in relation to the solar year approximately every 33 Islamic years. It is used mainly for religious purposes, and in Saudi Arabia it is the official calendar. In other systems, a lunar calendar may include extra months added that synchronize it with the solar calendar….The oldest known calendar is a lunar calendar at Crathes Castle in Scotland….Mesolithic calendar: During 2004 excavations uncovered a series of pits believed to date from about 10,000 years ago. The find was only analysed in 2013 and is believed to be the world's oldest known lunar calendar. It is believed that it was used from 8,000 BC to about 4,000 BC. It is believed to pre-date by up to five thousand years previously known time-measuring monuments in Mesopotamia."……

BCE is the abbreviation for Before the Common/Current/Christian Era (an alternative to Before Christ, abbreviated BC)…..Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord, and as in the year of Our Lord.

"New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 BC. Romans originally dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named. Later, as a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year's Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ."….'s_Day

"Chinese New Year is the first day of the lunar calendar and is corrected for the solar every three years. The holiday normally falls between 20 January and 20 February…….Hindu In Hinduism, dmany households celebrate the new year when the Sun enters Aries on the Hindu calendar. This is normally on 14 April or 15 April…..Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21."….'s_Day

"Old Avestan calendar….The forerunner of all modern Zoroastrian calendars is the system used to reckon dates in the Persian Empire. In 539 BC, Persia's rulers conquered Babylon, and soon afterwards – at least by the 4th century BC – adopted the Babylonian method of reckoning months: 12 months each containing 30 days. The Zoroastrian calendar follows the Babylonian in relating the seventh and other days of the month to Ahura Mazda….This 'Avestan Calendar' of 360 days required regular correction to keep it synchronized with the solar year; this was achieved by intercalating a 13th month roughly once every six years."

"The Iranian calendar (also known as Persian calendar) is a solar calendar currently used in Iran and Afghanistan.....The earliest evidence of Iranian calendar and the related traditions is from the second millennium B.".....Tehran Mounts Persian Calendars Exhibition....26 FEBRUARY 2014

"Although evidence of calendrical traditions in Iran can be traced back to the 2nd millennium B.C., before the lifetime of Zoroaster, the earliest calendar that is fully preserved dates from the Achaemenid period. The Old Persian calendar was lunisolar, like that of the Babylonians, with twelve months of thirty days each......The Old Persian calendar was lunisolar, like that of the Babylonians, with twelve months of thirty days each; the days were numbered but not named (with the exception of the last day of the month, Jiyamna “the decreasing one(?)”.....

"During the reign of Artaxerxes II (circa 380 BC) astronomers utilized a 19 year cycle which required the addition of a month called Addaru II month in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14 and 19, and the month Ululu II in year 17 of the cycle.[5] Older research[8] suggests the first intercalation took place in 309 BC. Fuller information on the naming of months will be found below, but it should be noted that the first month of the year was called Frawardin (Zoroastrian yašt hymns, devoted to the fravašis), and the first day of Frawardin was the 'New Year's Day' or Nawruz (also reckoned Now-Ruz, Nowruz, No Roz, No-Rooz, Norouz, or Navroz), from which all other religious observances were reckoned – this day being, in theory, the day of the Northern vernal equinox, 21 March (Gregorian)….FRAVASHIS: "A class of higher intelligence that are ancient Persian guardian warrior spirits…(Dralas)

Following Alexander's conquest of Persia in 330 BC, the Seleucids (312–248 BC) instituted the Hellenic practice of counting years from the start of an 'era', as opposed to starting a new count at the beginning of the reign of each individual king. They therefore counted years of the era of Alexander (now referred to as the Seleucid era). This practice was not considered acceptable to the Zoroastrian priests, who consequently founded a new era, the era of Zoroaster – which incidentally led to the first serious attempt to establish a historical date for the prophet. The Parthians (150–224 CE), who succeeded the Seleucids, continued the Seleucid/Hellenic tradition.

"Shulgi (also formerly read as Dungi) of Ur was the second king of the "Sumerian Renaissance". He reigned for 48 years, dated to 2029 BCE–1982 BCE (short chronology). He completed construction of the Great Ziggurat of Ur……The Babylonian calendar was a lunisolar calendar with years consisting of 12 lunar months, each beginning when a new crescent moon was first sighted low on the western horizon at sunset, plus an intercalary month inserted as needed by decree. The calendar is based on a Sumerian (Ur III) predecessor preserved in the Umma calendar of Shulgi (c. 21st century BC)."…

"The Goseck circle is a Neolithic structure in Goseck in the Burgenlandkreis district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the oldest and best known of the so-called Circular Enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres (246 feet) across and two palisade rings containing gates in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the solstice days…….The Goseck circle is the oldest known structure with this type of astronomical alignment. Its construction is dated to approximately the 49th century BC, and it seems to have remained in use until about the 47th century. This corresponds to the transitional phase between the Neolithic Linear Pottery and Stroke-ornamented ware cultures. It is one of a larger group of so-called Circular Enclosures in the Elbe and Danube region, most of which show similar alignments…..Archaeologists generally agree that Goseck circle was used for observation of the course of the Sun in the course of the solar year. Together with calendar calculations, it allowed coordinating an easily judged lunar calendar with the more demanding measurements of a solar calendar."….

"The Vučedol culture flourished between 3000 and 2200 BC (the Eneolithic period of earliest copper-smithing), centered in Syrmia and eastern Slavonia on the right bank of the Danube river, but possibly spreading throughout the Pannonian plain and western Balkans and southward. It was thus contemporary with the Sumer period in Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic period in Egypt and the earliest settlements of Troy (Troy I and II). Some authors regard it as an Indo-European culture…..Oldest European calendar……Among the most famous pieces is a vessel bearing inscribed images corresponding to what has been alleged to be the oldest Indo-European calendar, based on an Orion cycle, shown by precise sequence of constellations on a vessel found in an eneolithic mound in the very center of the modern town of Vinkovci. The climatic conditions in that latitude bring about four yearly seasons. The simple explanation of the Vučedol Calendar is that each of the four lateral bands on the vessel represent the four seasons, starting with spring on the top. Each band is divided into twelve boxes, making up 12 "weeks" for each season. Each of the little boxes contains an ideogram of what you see when you look at a certain point on the horizon right after twilight. The place of reference on the horizon is the point at which (in those days) Orion's belt disappeared from view at the end of winter, which meant the beginning of a new year. The pictographs in the boxes represent: Orion, the Sun, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Gemini, Pegasus, and the Pleiades. If the box is empty, it means there was nothing visible at the reference point during the corresponding time."…..

"Indo-European Calendar: It is not yet possible to reconstruct the Indo-European calendar since it has been adapted to local conditions and environment, however some festivals have been reconstructed at least to continuous areas, such as the northern countries or the Mediterranean region. Many of the festivals of the agricultural year can be reconstructed, and their assignment to particular deities is consistent across the Indo-European-speaking world……The Proto-Indo-European Religion is a beautiful religion stretching back 6000 years at least and offering a round of customs and traditions and a standard of behavior and morals that represent an ancient memory of the right way to do things and the best standards for human aspirations. The myths and songs of praise, recorded as poetry from the oldest sources, notated musically in more recent times and still sung in India are among the finest treasures of the human species. The early thinkers among Indo-Europeans such as the Greek philosophers and the Vendantists continue to provide the clearest written guide to those who want to explore the relationship between ourselves and the world around us, natural, human and celestia"…..

"The Babylonian calendar was a lunisolar calendar with years consisting of 12 lunar months, each beginning when a new crescent moon was first sighted low on the western horizon at sunset, plus an intercalary month inserted as needed by decree. The calendar is based on a Sumerian (Ur III) predecessor preserved in the Umma calendar of Shulgi (c. 21st century BC)…..The year begins in spring, and is divided into reš šatti "beginning", mišil šatti "middle", and kīt šatti "end of the year". The name for "month" was arḫu (status constructus araḫ). That the calendar originates in Babylonian, not Assyrian times is shown by the fact that the chief deity of the Assyrians is assigned the surplus intercalary month. During the 6th century BC Babylonian exile of the Hebrews, the Babylonian month names were adopted into the Hebrew calendar. The Aramaic calendar used in Iraq and the Levant also uses many of the same names for its months, such as Iyyar, Tammuz, Ab, Elul, Tishri, and Adar."…..

"Central Asian Calendar……The Central Asian calendar in use primarily in Turkestan and Ugyuristan is an adapted Gregorian calendar which blends in elements of the Persian and Chinese calendars……The names of the months are Persian in origin:…..The Cycle of Animals….In addition, there is a Chinese-derived animal cycle system of naming the years which runs in parallel with the Gregorian year numbers. There are some differences from the usual Chinese system, replacing some of the animals with more Central Asian ones:….Rat (Çıçqan)…..Ox (Buqa) ….Panther (Bars)…Rabbit (Qoyan)….Snail (Ulu)…..Snake (Yılan)…..Horse (At)…..Sheep (Qoı) …..Camel (Tüyü)…..Cock (Ätiş)…..Dog (It)……Pig (Qaban)."…

The Gregorian calendar, also called the Western calendar and the Christian calendar, is internationally the most widely accepted and used civil calendar. It has been the unofficial global standard for decades, recognised by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union……The calendar was a reform in 1582 to the Julian calendar. The motivation for the reform was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of the year in which the First Council of Nicaea had agreed upon in 325. Because the spring equinox was tied to the celebration of Easter, the Roman Catholic Church considered this steady drift in the date of Easter undesirable.

"Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) and Before Christ (BC or B.C.) are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term Anno Domini is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord,and as in the year of Our Lord….. It is sometimes specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ"). This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC. This dating system was devised in 525, but was not widely used until after 800."…..

"Year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering (where it coincides with the Julian year 1 BC) and in ISO 8601:2004 (where it coincides with the Gregorian year 1 BC) as well as in all Buddhist and Hindu calendars…Historians have never included a year zero. This means that between, for example, January 1, 500 BC and January 1, AD 500, there are 999 years: 500 years BC, and 499 years AD preceding 500. In common usage anno Domini 1 is preceded by the year 1 BC, without an intervening year zero.."….

"Our system of numbering the year originated from the birth of Jesus Christ (hence the terms BC - Before Christ and AD - Anno Domini - in the year of Our Lord). This system did not become widespread for many years after Jesus ans so the years had to be counted back to when iit was believed he was born. However, there were two mistakes in the calculation; first, there was no year zero included (so the year before 1 AD was 1 BC) and, in any case, the year which they took to be Christ's birth was also wrong, his actually being born in or around what we call 4 BC. But the calendar, with its errors, stuck - and we have been using it ever since over 2000 years later."....

The Julian calendar was a reform of the Roman calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC (708 AUC). It took effect in 45 BC (709 AUC). It was the predominant calendar in most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was superseded by the Gregorian calendar…….The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months, as listed in Table of months. A leap day is added to February every four years. The Julian year is, therefore, on average 365.25 days long. It was intended to approximate the tropical (solar) year. Although Greek astronomers had known, at least since Hipparchus, a century before the Julian reform, that the tropical year was a few minutes shorter than 365.25 days, the calendar did not compensate for this difference. As a result, the calendar year gained about three days every four centuries compared to observed equinox times and the seasons. This discrepancy was corrected by the Gregorian reform of 1582. The Gregorian calendar has the same months and month lengths as the Julian calendar, but inserts leap days according to a different rule. Consequently, the Julian calendar is currently 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar; for instance, 1 January in the Julian calendar is 14 January in the Gregorian.

The Tibetan calendar (Tibetan: ལོ་ཐོ, Wylie: lo-tho) is a lunisolar calendar, that is, the Tibetan year is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year……The translation of the Buddhist Kalachakratantra in the second half of the 11th century AD marked the beginning of a complete change for the calendar in Tibet…….The Tibetan New Year celebration is Losar (Tibetan: ལོ་གསར་, Wylie: lo-gsar). According to almanacs the year starts with the third Hor month. There were many different traditions in Tibet to fix the beginning of the year…..There were different traditions of naming years (Tibetan: ལོ་, Wylie: lo in Tibet. From the 12th century onwards, we observe the usage of two sixty-year cycles. The 60-year cycle is known as the Bṛhaspati (or Vṛhaspati) cycle and was first introduced into Tibet by an Indian Buddhist by the name of Chandra Nath and Chilu Pandit of Tibet in 1025 CE. The first cycle is the rabqung (Tibetan: རབ་བྱུང༌།, Wylie: rab-byung) cycle. The first year of the first rabqung cycle started in 1027. This cycle was adopted from India. The second cycle was derived from China and was called zhugju gor (Tibetan: དྲུག་ཅུ་སྐོར།, Wylie: drug-cu skor). The first year of the first zhugju gor cycle started in 1024. The cycles were counted by ordinal numbers, but the years within the cycles were never counted but referred to by special names. The structure of the zhugju gor was as follows:….Each year is associated with an animal and an element, similar to the Chinese zodiac. Animals have the following order:….Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Goat Monkey Rooster Dog Pig Rat Ox Tiger…..Elements have the following order:…..Fire Earth Iron Water Wood

"The Buddhist calendar (Pali: Sāsanā Sakaraj; Burmese: သာသနာ သက္ကရာဇ်, [θàðənà θɛʔkəɹɪʔ]; Thai: พุทธศักราช, RTGS: phutthasakkarat, [pʰút.tʰá.sàk.kà.ràːt]) is a set of lunisolar calendars primarily used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka for religious and/or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they also have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar……The Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the tropical year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is intended to keep pace with tropical years, not sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is slowly drifting out of sync with the tropical year, approximately one day every 60 years. The traditional New Year's Day, which used to take place around the vernal equinox in the mid-7th century now falls on 17 April today. Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken…….Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used mainly for Theravada Buddhist festivals, and no longer has the official calendar status anywhere. The Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand…In all Theravada traditions, the calendar's epochal year 0 date was the day in which the Buddha attained parinibbāna. However, not all traditions agree on when it actually took place. In Burmese Buddhist tradition, it was 13 May 544 BCE (Tuesdsay, Full moon of Kason 148 Anjanasakaraj). But in Thailand, it was 11 March 545 BCE."….

The Ten Syllables of the Kalachakra Mantra Wall Hanging Plate with Ashtamangala Symbols and Animals of Tibetan Astrological Calendar.....Ashtamangala are a sacred suite of Eight Auspicious Signs endemic to a number of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

"The Kālacakra calendar is a luni-solar calendar based on a 60-year cycle. Unlike the western calendar, the months last from new Moon to new Moon, and are defined by the sign of the zodiac the Sun enters during the month. Occasionally, the Sun does not change sign during a month, and this month is considered an extra, or intercalary, month (zla bshol, zla lhag pa). The extra month is considered in the Kālacakra tradition to have the same characteristics as the previous month, although the system followed in Tibetan calendars is that the intercalary has the same characteristics as the month that follows it…..Strictly speaking, the Kālacakra sytem is not identical to the Babylonian one, which was entirely sexagesimal. In the Kālacakra fractions the first two places after the integer are always base 60, the next is usually base 6, and for any other places the radix depends upon context. However, these differences do not detract from the usefulness of using the same system as is used for representing Babylonian fractions. "…..

"The Hebrew or Jewish calendar…..Years are counted since the creation of the world, which is assumed to have taken place in 3761 BC…… (הַלּוּחַ הָעִבְרִי, ha'luach ha'ivri) is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits (dates to commemorate the death of a relative), and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been steadily declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar…..The calendar used by Jews has evolved over time. The basic structural features of the early calendar are thought to have been influenced by the Babylonian calendar, including the seven-day week, the lunisolar intercalary adjustment and the names of the months. Until the Tannaitic period (approximately 10–220 CE) the calendar employed a new crescent moon, with an additional month normally added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year. When to add it was based on observation of natural agriculture-related events. Through the Amoraic period (200–500 CE) and into the Geonic period, this system was gradually displaced by the mathematical rules used today. The principles and rules were fully codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century. Maimonides' work also replaced counting "years since the destruction of the Temple" with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi.

The Chinese calendar….."The legendary beginning of the Chinese calendar developed during the first millennium BC. The legend states that the first Chinese calendar was invented by the first legendary emperor, Huangdi or the Yellow Emperor, whose reign was assigned to 2698-2599 BC. The fourth legendary emperor, Emperor Yao, added the intercalary month. The 60-year stem-branch (干支 gānzhī) cycle was first assigned to years during the first century BC. Giving Huangdi some maturity, the first year of the first cycle was assigned to 2637 BC according to Herbert A. Giles, A Chinese-English Dictionary (1912), and all other Western authors during the late Qing dynasty"…..The civil calendar in much of China is the Han calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar. It is used for selecting the day of a wedding or funeral, for opening a venture, or a relocation. A similar calendar is used in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam for these purposes. The civil calendar for Tibet is the Tibetan calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar….The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which indicates both the moon phases and the solar terms. In the Chinese calendar, a year usually begins on the second dark moon after the winter solstice but occasionally on the third dark moon after the winter solstice.

Solar Hijri….."The modern Iranian calendar (Solar Hijri calendar (SH)) is now the official calendar in Iran and Afghanistan. It begins on the vernal equinox as determined by astronomical calculations for the Iran Standard Time meridian (52.5°E or GMT+3.5h). This determination of starting moment is more accurate than the Gregorian calendar as far as predicting the date of the vernal equinox is concerned because it uses astronomical calculation rather than mathematical rules. but requires consulting an astronomical almanac. Its years are designated AP, short for Anno Persico. The Iranian year usually begins within a day of 21 March of the Gregorian calendar. To find the corresponding year of the Gregorian calendar, add 621 or 622 (depending on the time of the year) to a Solar Hijri year."……

" The Islamic calendar is a purely lunar calendar, so its dates tend to slide around the year from the perspective of the Gregorian calendar. It has leap years, but these do not keep it aligned to the sun (no months are added, only days). It is still used by Muslims around the world to fix holidays and important dates, but it should be borne in mind that the calendar given here is only an approximation. There are many different Muslim authorities and different opinions on details of the calendar. Moreover, strictly speaking the calendar is fixed based on actual astronomical observations and official religious declarations (as the Hebrew calendar once was), and not the simple approximations used here. So the dates you see here may be off a day or so from any given "official" Islamic calendar……As with other calendars that don't otherwise address it, years before Year 1 progress in the usual artificially mathematical way. The years are labeled "A.H." for anno hegiræ: year of (after) [Mohammed's] emigration (to Medina)."…..

"Although the earliest evidence of Iranian calendrical traditions is from the second millennium BCE, predating the appearance of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, the first fully preserved calendar is that of the Achaemenids. Throughout recorded history, Persians have been keen on the idea and importance of having a calendar. They were among the first cultures to use a solar calendar and have long favoured a solar over lunar and lunisolar approaches. The sun has always been a symbol in Iranian culture and is closely related to the folklore regarding Cyrus the Great…..Old Persian inscriptions and tablets indicate that early Iranians used a 360-day calendar based on the Babylonian system (the Babylonian Calendar was lunar) and modified for their beliefs. Days were not named. The months had two or three divisions depending on the phase of the moon. Twelve months of 30 days were named for festivals or activities of the pastoral year. A 13th month was added every six years to keep the calendar synchronized with the seasons.."….Panaino, Antonio (1990). "CALENDARS, i. Pre-Islamic calendars". Encyclopaedia Iranica 4. ISBN 0-7100-9132-X.

"Early Roman Calendar….The Romans borrowed parts of their earliest known calendar from the Greeks. The calendar consisted of 10 months in a year of 304 days. The Romans seem to have ignored the remaining 61 days, which fell in the middle of winter. The 10 months were named Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. The last six names were taken from the words for five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. Romulus, the legendary first ruler of Rome, is supposed to have introduced this calendar in the 700s B.C.E……According to tradition, the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the calendar. This made the Roman year 355 days long. To make the calendar correspond approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus. Mercedinus was inserted after February 23 or 24, and the last days of February were moved to the end of Mercedinus. In years when it was inserted, Mercedinus added 22 or 23 days to the year."….

"The Maya calendar is a system of calendars used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in many modern communities in highland Guatemala and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico……The essentials of the Maya calendar are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It shares many aspects with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec and Aztec calendars. Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood…..The Maya calendar consists of several cycles or counts of different lengths. The 260-day count is known to scholars as the Tzolkin, or Tzolk'in. The Tzolkin was combined with a 365-day vague solar year known as the Haab' to form a synchronized cycle lasting for 52 Haab', called the Calendar Round. Smaller cycles of 13 days, the trecena, and 20 days, the veintena, were important components of both cycles. The Calendar Round is still in use by many groups in the Guatemalan highlands."….

"The Hopi religious calendar begins anew each year in November with the Kelmuya season. Only those who have been initiated into "manhood" may participate in the ceremonies, which celebrate the creation of our present world, the Fourth World….. Kelmuya marks the beginning of the Hopi life cycle because it commemorates the start of the Fourth World—the world we live in today. In this month a young male is given a new path of life towards becoming a truly aligned Hopi person. The ceremony is sacred, therefore rituals are done secretly. The initiated society members prepare for the ceremony by purifying themselves to clear their thoughts. The ceremony is completed with a public dance in which people can offer silent prayers to supernatural beings. We also pray for all mankind that life will be pleasant, peaceful and everlasting. The fire of life is lit and the emergence from the underworld is remembered. We pray that we will continue to grow in this life. Some high priests who have completed their religious instruction are initiated and ordained into the spiritual leadership as well during Kelmuya…..Kyaamuya (December) Winter Solstice Season, Month of Reverence….. After the emergence from the Third World to this present one, the keeper of the earth, Maasawu, warned us that in order to live on this earth and maintain sustainable living conditions, we must learn and practice how to pray and conduct ceremonies. During this time there is much respect paid to the spirit beings. Wise elders tell stories of the past that provide important moral guidance for maintaining the high standards of Hopi life. This is the only time we make requests for material goods. We observe the sunrise and moon around the winter solstice to set the time for the Soyal Ceremony, which confirms and begins the life plan for the year. The Soyal Ceremony is the second most sacred ritual for a healthy and successful life. Also during Kyaamuya, the first katsinam appear to promote the procreation of human life. Rituals in the kiva include silent prayers, fasting and eating sacred foods. Once the rituals have been completed, people begin preparing for the winter social dances."…..

"The ancient civil Egyptian calendar had a year that was 365 days long and was divided into 12 months of 30 days each, plus five extra days (epagomenae, from Greek ἐπαγόμεναι) at the end of the year……The "Conventional Egyptian chronology" is the scholarly consensus, placing the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC. During the 20th century AD, scholarly consensus regarding the beginning of the Old Kingdom has shifted to earlier dates and is now placed in the 27th century BC."…..


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2013



  1. The Assyrian calendar is a lunar-based calendar that begins in the year 4750 BC, inspired by an estimate of the date of the first temple at Assur,... notably based on a series of articles published in the Assyrian magazine Gilgamesh, edited by the brothers Addi Alkhas and Jean Alkhas and Nimrod Simono. The year begins with the first sight of Spring. The Assyrian new year is still celebrated every year with festivals and gatherings. As of March 21, 2013, it is the Assyrian year of 6763, and this calendar is official in Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

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