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Calendar Systems A to Z

Calendar Systems A to Z

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11/10/2012

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Calendar Systems
Ab Urbe Condita
(See
Roman Calendar
)
 
Aztec Day Count
(See
Aztec Calendar – Tonalpohualli
)
 
Aztec Calendar – Tonalpohualli
 
Other Names:
Also called the
Tonalpohualli
,
Tonalpohualli Calendar
,
Day Count
.
Origin:
The
Aztec Tonalpohualli Calendar
is very similar to the
Mayan Tzolkin Calendar
(see
Mayan Calendar – Tzolkin
). It was the sacred calendar of the Aztecs.
Method:
260-day cycle. The
Tonalpohualli Calendar
used two independent cycles which advancedsimultaneously – a thirteen-day count and a twenty-name cycle. The names are as follows:
Cipactli
(Crocodile) (protected by Tonacatecuhtli),
Ehecatl
(Wind) (protected by Quetzalcoatl),
Calli
(House) (protected by Tepeyollotl),
Cuetzpalin
(Lizard) (protected by Huehuecoyotl),
Coatl
(Snake) (protected by Chalchihuitlicue),
Miquiztli
(Death) (protected by Tecciztecatl),
Mazatl
(Deer) (protected by Tlaloc),
Tochtli
(Rabbit) (protected by Mayahuel),
Atl
(Water) (protected by Xiuhtecuhtli),
Itzcuintli
(Dog) (protected by Mictlantecuhtli),
Ozomahtli
(Monkey) (protected by Xochipili),
Malinalli
(Grass) (protected by Patecatl),
Acatl
(Reed) (protected by Tezcatlipoca),
Ocelotl
(Jaguar) (protected by Tlazolteotl),
Cuauhtli
(Eagle) (protected by Xipe Totec),
Cozcacuauhtli
(Vulture) (protected by Itzpapalotl),
Ollin
(Movement) (protected by Xolotl),
Tecpatl
(Stone Knife) (protected by Chalchihuihtotolin),
Quiahuitl
(Rain) (protected by Tonatiuh), and
Xochitl
(Flower) (protected by Xochiquetzal).The count and names advance independently, thus
13 Tecpatl 
is followed by
1 Quiahuitl 
, which isfollowed by
 2 Xochitl 
, which is followed by
 3 Cipactli
, etc. This results in 260 distinct dates.
Mathematics:
13×20=260
Years:
At the end of its cycle, the
Tonalpohualli Calendar
merely resets; there is no system (analogousto counting years) for distinguishing one
Tonalpohualli Calendar
cycle from another.
Days:
A day is called a
tonal
.
 
Correlation to Gregorian:
On
 NS January 1, 1997 CE
, the
trecenas
(13-day period) was
 Xochitl 
, andthe
tonal
(day) was
8 Mazatl 
.
Other Cycles:
The
Tonalpohualli Calendar
also recognized 13-day
trecenas
, which began each timethe day number cycled to 1 and the names of which corresponded to the day name of that first day of the
trecenas
:
1-Cipactli
(Crocodile) (protected by Tonacatecuhtli & Tonacacihuatl),
1-Ocelotl
(Jaguar) (protected by Quetzalcoatl),
1-Mazatl
(Deer) (protected by Tepeyollotl & Tlazolteotl),
1-Xochitl
(Flower) (protected by Huehuecoyotl & Ixnextli),
1-Acatl
(Reed) (protected by Chalchihuitlicue),
1-Miquiztli
(Death) (protected by Tonatiuh & Tecciztecatl),
1-Quiahuitl
(Rain) (protected by Tlaloc),
1-Malinalli
(Grass) (protected by Mayahuel & Xochipilli),
1-Coatl
(Snake) (protected by Xiuhtecuhtli & Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli),
1-Tecpatl
(Stone Knife) (protected by Mictlantecuhtli & Tonatiuh),
1-Ozomahtli
(Monkey) (protected by Patecatl),
1-Cuetzpalin
(Lizard) (protected by Itzlacoliuhqui & Tezcatlipoca),
1-Ollin
(Movement) (protected by Tlazolteotl),
1-Itzcuintli
(Dog) (protected by Xipe Totec & Quetzalcoatl),
1-Calli
(House) (protected by Itzpapalotl),
1-Cozcacuauhtli
(Vulture) (protected by Xolotl & Tlalchitonatiuh),
1-Atl
(Water) (protected by Chalchihuitotolin),
1-Ehecatl
(Wind) (protected by Chantico),
1-Cuauhtli
(Eagle) (protected by Xochiquetzal), and
1-Tochtli
(Rabbit) (protected by Xiuhtecuhtli & Xipe Totec).
Aztec Calendar – Xiuhpohualli
 
Other Names:
Also called the
Xiuhpohualli
,
Xiuhpohualli Calendar
.
Origin:
The
Aztec Xiuhpohualli Calendar
is very similar to the
Mayan Haab Calendar
(see
MayanCalendar – Haab
). Some of their systems of reckoning are identical, but their years do not alwayscoincide.
Method:
Solar.
Mathematics:
18×20+5=365
Years:
The
Xiuhpohualli
counts days and months, but years are only designated only as
Xihuitl
or"Agricultural Years." The name of the
Xihuitl
is taken from the
Aztec Tonalpohualli
(see
AztecCalendar – Tonalpohualli
) day that corresponds to the last day of the last month of the
AztecXiuhpohualli Calendar
, for example
1 Calli
. Thus, the number comes from the number of the day in thatcalendar – between 1 and 13 inclusive. The day, likewise, comes from the name of the day in thatcalendar; in practice, however, only four names are possible:
Calli
,
Tochtli
,
Acatl
, and
Tecpatl
.
 
Months:
The
Aztec Xiuhpohualli Calendar
has 18 months of 20 days each, along with a 5-day periodto complete the year.
Days:
A day is called a
tonal
.
Conformity to Solar Year:
A 5-day period was added at the end of the year to bring it up to 365 days.
Intercalary/Leap System:
The
Aztec Xiuhpohualli Calendar
year was 365 days; no effort was made toadd a day to prevent its slow drift backward through the seasons.
Correlation to Gregorian:
On
 NS January 1, 1997 CE
, the
Xihuitl
(agricultural year) was
11 Calli
.
Other Cycles:
A cycle of 52 years is called a
bundle
.
Holidays:
Holidays occurred at the end of each month.
Babylonian Calendar
Method:
Solar.
Months:
The
Babylonian Calendar
used lunar months, and added extra months when necessary to keepthe calendar in line with the solar year.
Correlation to Gregorian:
Year
 2745
of the
Babylonian Calendar
began on
 NS April 24, 1996 CE
.
Badí Calendar
(See
Bahá'i Calendar
)
Bahá'i Calendar
Other Names:
Also Called the
Badí Calendar
.
Origin:
The
Bahá'i Calendar
is based on the number 19 (the number of years between which the Bábforetold the prophet, and Bahá'u'lláh's announcement of his mission). The Bahá'i Era began in
1844 CE
 (
 AH 1260
), the year of the Báb's prophecy.
Method:
Solar. Nineteen months of nineteen days each, with a period of 4 days (5 days in leap years) tobring the calendar to 365 days.
Mathematics:
19×19+4=365 (common year)19×19+5=366 (leap year)
New Year:
The beginning of the year (
Naw Rúz
) corresponds to
 NS March 21
. (Some sources indicatethat the year begins on the vernal equinox rather than correlating exactly to the date of 
 NS March 21
.)
Years:
Years in the Bahá'i Calendar are followed by the abbreviation
BE
(for "Bahá'i Era").
Months:
The year consists of 19 months of 19 days each. The names for the months are drawn from thenineteen names of God invoked in a prayer said during the month of fasting in Shí'ih Islam. Respectively,they are:

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