I decided it was time to put this thread together. I had been holding off thinking it was useless, but I feel it is important to demonstrate the many
different ways civilizations in different parts of the world and centuries chose to follow the evolution of our planet around the our Sun. Tracking
the seasons as they changed, mapping the stars, using the Moon phases, etc.
Just exactly which calendar is the most accurate? Which one can we rely on to be our guide with the changing of our solar system, our Galaxy, our
Universe? They all have completely different time frames associated with each. Some have been drastically changed and some we are not able to even
translate. Makes no difference does it? No one knows when the beginning of our civilization actually began? If the Earth is over 4 billion years
old and we have been populated many times since, what calendar could possibly tell us this? Not one of them.
Making any predictions about anything with the use of any of these calendars is futile.
However, the stars in the sky and the Moon that is attached to us and the Sun we revolve around and the Planets that are attached to us and the Galaxy
we spin through and the Universe we belong to have never stayed the same and they will continue to change. We just have very little way of knowing
except what we can see and can document through the recent history and the recent calendar; like our ancestors did with their calendar system. Sure
we can try to decipher and we can hand down information to the next generation just like they did; it will get re-written and revised and interpreted
just the same.
I have given examples of several calendars and the source I used.
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes.
History of calendars
The history of calendars spans several thousand years. In many early civilizations, calendar systems were developed. For example, in Summer, 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
The ancient Sumerian calendar divided a year into 12 lunar months of 29 or 30 days. Each month began with the sighting of a new moon. Sumerian
months had no uniform name throughout Sumer because of the religious diversity.
Of all the ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerican systems are the most complex. The Mayan calendar had 2 years, the 260-day Sacred
Round, or tzolkin, and the 365-day Vague Year, or haab.
The Sacred Round of 260 days is composed of two smaller cycles: the numbers 1 through 13, coupled with 20 different day names: Imix, Ik, Akbal, Kan,
Chicchan, Cimi, Manik, Lamat, Muluc, Oc, Chuen, Eb, Ben, Ix, Men, Cib, Caban, Eiznab, Cauac, and Ahau. The Sacred Round was used to determine
important activities related to the gods and humans: name individuals, predict the future, decide on auspicious dates for battles, marriages, and so
The ancient Athenian calendar was a lunisolar calendar with 354 day years, consisting of twelve months of alternating length of 29 or 30 days. To keep
the calendar in line with the solar year of 365.25 days, an extra, intercalary month was added in every other year. The Athenian
months were called Hekatombion, Metageitnion, Boedromion, Pyanepsion, Maimakterion, Poseidon, Gamelion, Anthesterion, Elaphebolion, Munychion,
Thargelion, and Skirophorion. The intercalary month usually came after Poseidon, and was called second Poseidon.
The Romans had an eight day week, with the market-day falling every eight days.
The old Roman year had 304 days divided into 10 months, beginning on XI Kal. Maius, or 21 April. The extra months Ianuarius and Februarius had been
invented as stop-gaps. Julius Caesar realised that the system had become inoperable, so he effected drastic changes in the year of his third
consulship. The New Year in 709 AUC began on 1 January and ran over 365 days until 31 December. Further adjustments were made under Augustus,
who introduced the concept of the "leap year" in 737 AUC (AD 4). The resultant Julian calendar remained in almost universal use in Europe until
Viking calendar - Winter" lasted from October to April. The two day period when winter began, the Winter Nights or veturnætur, occurred around the
middle of October. It was a particularly holy time of the year, when sacrifices were made to the local guardian spirits and other social events
such as games meetings and weddings took place. The first month of winter, Gormánuður, was also the time when animals were slaughtered so that
their meat could be stored for the winter.
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. It is not exclusive to China,
but followed by many other Asian cultures as well.
The Chinese year beginning January 23, 2012 is reckoned in the seldom-used continuously numbered system to be 4709, 4649, or 4710, depending on the
The Hebrew calendar (הלוח העברי ha'luach ha'ivri), or Jewish calendar, 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 portion, yahrzeits (dates to commemorate the
death of a relative), and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is an official calendar for civil purposes and provides a
time frame for agriculture. The current year of the Jewish calendar (16 September 2012 to 4 September 2013) is 5773.
Hindu calendar is a collective name for most of the lunisolar calendars and solar calendars used in India since ancient times. Since ancient times it
has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization and today there are several regional Indian Hindu calendars.
The Aztec calendar is the calendar system that was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It is one of the
Mesoamerican calendars, sharing the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica.
continued in the next post
edit on 11/14/2012 by ascension211 because: grammar!