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Calendar Systems around the World

Here is the full Calendar Systems around the World: Julian calendar, Gregorian calendar, Jewish, Islamic calendar, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Mayan and Aztec, Baha’i, and Zoroastrian calendar. The names, that means and transient historical past of origins of days and month of every.

What is a Calendar?

A calendar is a way of reckoning time by way of the utility of divisions—days, weeks, months, and years. Some of these divisions, comparable to months, originate in observations of phenomena in nature. Others, comparable to weeks, are fairly arbitrary. In primitive occasions, people reckoned by cycles of the moon (months), however when a extra handy, shorter interval was wanted days had been grouped, e.g., intervals between market days in all probability led to the use of the seven-day week. The initially Jewish seven-day week grew to become a regular all through Western civilization ranging from the third century B.C.

The Day

The day is a reasonably pure division, regardless of the variation in the size of daylight by way of the year. The Babylonians launched divisions of the day into twenty-four hours, however the size of hours various by way of the year. Only with the growth of correct clocks, the demand for which was a byproduct of the curiosity in maritime navigation that got here with the Renaissance, was the day given scientific regularity.

The Month

A lunar month, the interval of an entire cycle of the phases of the moon, lasts roughly 29.5 days, is simple for all to acknowledge, brief sufficient to be counted with out utilizing massive numbers, matches intently with the feminine menstrual cycle and, given its relation to the tidal cycle, with the length of cyclic conduct in some marine animals. Its simplicity and minimal ease of commentary (if one reductions cloudy skies) led to its nice significance, and it was extensively used as the foundation for calendars in lots of cultures. The size of every month various in accordance to the tradition, e.g., the Babylonians alternated between twenty-nine and thirty-day months, the Egyptians fastened them at thirty days, and so forth.

The Seasons

But the Challenge inherent in the use of a lunar calendar is that the cycles of the solar, not the moon, decide the seasons, the predictability of which is crucial to the success of agriculture. The seasons may very well be decided by photo voltaic commentary, both by measuring the cycle of the noon shadow solid by a stick placed vertically in the floor, or by refined astronomical calculations. Either system resulted in a photo voltaic year of roughly 365 days, incompatible with the twelve 29.5-day lunar months that resulted in a 354-day year. Civilisations tried to reconcile lunar months with the photo voltaic year in various methods. The most influential historic effort was that of the Egyptian astronomers, working from exact mathematical observations and borrowing from Babylonian astronomy, who drew up the Roman calendar that Julius Caesar launched.

Julian Calendar

Julius Caesar ordered the change of the reformed Roman lunar calendar to a solar-based one in 46 B.C. The intercalation of ninety days corrected a discrepancy that had been rising between the seasons and the months through which that they had historically fallen. Prior to this intercalation, the Roman civic year had come to be about three months “ahead” of the seasons, so spring started in June. The year 46 B.C. was assigned 445 days to make the adjustment; it was referred to as ultimus annus confusionis, “the final year of the muddled reckoning.” The new calendar, based mostly on the Egyptian photo voltaic calendar, offered for a year of 365 days with an extra day in February each fourth year. The addition of this bis####tile year and day provides the Julian year a median size of 365.25 days—very shut to the precise photo voltaic cycle. The Julian calendar (O.S., or Old Style) remained in civic use in the West for greater than 1,600 years, continues to be the foundation of the “Old Calendarist” Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, and is utilized by all Orthodox Christian church buildings to decide the date of Easter.

Gregorian Calendar

By the late sixteenth century, the difference between the Julian calendar and the seasons had grown to ten days as a result of the Julian year, averaging 365.25 days, was barely longer than the precise size of a photo voltaic year, which, by trendy calculation, is understood to be 365.242199 days lengthy. Fixed holy days started to happen in the “wrong” season, each for the church and for farmers, who used sure holy days to decide planting and harvesting. Pope Gregory XIII ordered the reform that deleted ten days from the year 1582; in that year, October 15 was the day after October 5. This change, coupled with the elimination of leap days in “century” years until evenly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000), corrected the calendar in order that at this time solely occasional “leap seconds” are wanted to maintain months and seasons synchronised. At first adopted solely in Roman Catholic nations, the Gregorian calendar (N.S., or New Style) regularly got here to be accepted all through the West, and at this time has grow to be the calendar utilized by most of the world, no less than for business and authorities.

Jewish Calendar

In 358, Hillel II launched a everlasting calendar based mostly on mathematical and astronomical calculations, eliminating the want for eyewitness sightings of the new moon with which the new month begins. Due to doubts as to when the new moon appeared, biblical legislation acknowledged that these residing outside of Israel would observe two days fairly than one for every pageant, apart from Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Talmud required that this tradition proceed even after the calendar was formulated. The Jewish period begins with the date of Creation, historically set in 3761 B.C. Only slight modifications had been made to Hillel’s calendar, and it has remained unchanged since the tenth century. Aday is reckoned from sunset to sunset, per week comprises seven days, a month is both twenty-nine or thirty days lengthy, and a year has twelve lunar months plus about eleven days, or 353, 354, or 355 days. To reconcile the calendar with the annual photo voltaic cycle, a thirteenth month of thirty days is intercalated in the third, sixth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth years of a nineteen-year cycle; a bis####tile year might comprise from 383 to 385 days. The civil calendar begins with the month of Tishri, the first day of which is Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. The cycle of the non secular calendar begins on Nisan 15, Passover (Pesach). The names of the months of the Jewish calendar had been borrowed from the Babylonians. The preexilic books of the Bible normally refer to the months in accordance to their numerical order, starting with Tishri, however there are 4 months talked about with completely different names: Nisan/Abib, Iyyar/Ziv, Tishri/Ethanim, and Heshvan/Bul:

  • Nisan: mid-March to mid-April
  • Iyyar: mid-April to mid-May
  • Sivan: mid-May to mid-June
  • Tammuz: mid-June to mid-July
  • Av: mid-July to mid-August
  • Elul: mid-August to mid-September
  • Tishri: mid-September to mid-October
  • Heshvan: mid-October to mid-November
  • Kislev: mid-November to mid-December
  • Tevet: mid-December to mid-January
  • Shevat: mid-January to mid-February
  • Adar: mid-February to mid-March
  • The intercalary month of Adar II is inserted earlier than Adar as wanted.
  • Islamic Calendar

    The Islamic calendar, referred to as hijri or Hegirian, continues to be strictly lunar-based. Moreover, the precise starting of a month is dependent upon the sighting of the new moon. Traditionally, if the sky is overcast and the new moon isn't seen, the earlier month runs one other thirty days earlier than the new month begins. However, the sensible starting of a month is in accordance to astronomical calculations of lunar cycles. The Islamic period begins July 16, 622, the date of the hegira or flight into exile of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. There are twelve Islamic lunar months, a few of twenty-nine, others of thirty days; these yield 354 days in the Islamic year. The fastened holidays set in the Islamic calendar thus transfer “backward” about ten days every year in relation to the Gregorian calendar. In roughly thirty-six years, Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, strikes again by way of the whole photo voltaic year. The Islamic day runs from sunset to sunset. Other calendars had been developed in Islamic nations for the sake of agriculture, which is dependent upon a photo voltaic calendar. The Coptic calendar, a variation of the Julian, was used till not too long ago, however is now restricted primarily to use in Egypt and the Sudan, nations with massive Coptic populations. The Turkish fiscal calendar, additionally Julian-based, was utilized in the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, the Gregorian calendar is adopted almost all over the place for civic functions, and the Islamic calendar determines solely the days of non secular observance. Saudi Arabia is one exception, and, no less than formally, makes use of the Islamic calendar as the calendar of reference. The names of the Islamic months are an historic reflection of the seasons of the photo voltaic year:

  • Muharram: the sacred month
  • Safar: the month which is void
  • Rabi al-Awwal: the first spring
  • Rabi ath-Thani: the second spring
  • Jumada-l-Ula: the first month of dryness
  • Jumada-th-Thaniyyah: the second month of dryness
  • Rajab: the revered month
  • Shaban: the month of division
  • Ramadan: the month of nice warmth
  • Shawwal: the month of searching
  • Dhu al-Qadah: the month of relaxation
  • Dhu al-Hijjah: the month of pilgrimage
  • Hindu Calendar

    Although every geographical area of India has had its personal calendar, all are based mostly on an historic calendar, the earliest time measurement system in India, present in texts thought to date from as early as 1000 B.C. Of the multitudinous regional Hindu calendars, used just for non secular holidays, the majority divide an approximate photo voltaic year of 360 days into twelve months. Each day is 1/30th of a month, with the intercalation of a leap month each sixty months. Time measurements based mostly on observations of the constellations are used together with the calendar. Each month is split into two fortnights: krsna (waning or darkish half) and sukla (waxing or vivid half). In southern India, the month begins with the new moon. In different components of the nation, the full moon is taken into account to be the starting of the month. Many references to the Hindu calendar (relying on the supply) are given as follows: month, fortnight (both S=waxing or Okay=waning), and variety of the day in that fortnight, e.g., Rama Navami: Caitra S. 9. The names of the Hindu months (with variant spellings) are given beneath, with the Burmese identify for the month in brackets:

  • Caitra or Chaitra [Tagu]: March-April
  • Vaisakha [Kasone]: April-May
  • Jyeshta or Jyaistha [Nayhone]: May-June
  • Ashadha or Asadha [Waso]: June-July
  • Sravana [Wagaung]: July-August
  • Bhadrapada [Tawthalin]: August-September
  • Asvina [Thadingyut]: September-October
  • Kartika or Karttika [Tazaungmone]: October-November
  • Margasirsa or Margashirsha [Nadaw]: November-December
  • Pausa or Pausha [Pyatho]: December-January
  • Magha [Tabodwei]: January-February
  • Phalguna [Tabaung]: February-March
  • Buddhist Calendar

    The Buddhist calendar originated in India and varies amongst completely different geographic places, as does the Hindu calendar, with which it shares many widespread components. The methodology for figuring out the date of the new year isn't uniform amongst Buddhist sects. Theravada Buddhists (these primarily in Sri Lanka, Laos, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia), utilizing a Hindu calendar as their foundation, calculate the months by the moon and the new year by the solar’s place in relation to the twelve segments of the heavens, every named for an indication of the zodiac. The photo voltaic new year begins when the solar enters Aries, normally between April 13th and 18th. The lunar months alternate between twenty-nine and thirty days in size. The first lunar month is normally someday in December, apart from the Burmese Buddhist calendar, which begins in April. Periodically, the seventh month has an intercalary day, and an intercalary month is added each few years. Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand refer to the months by quantity. Tibetan Buddhists, whose calendar has been closely influenced by the Chinese calendar, start their new year at the full moon nearest to the midpoint of Aquarius. Mahayana Buddhists (these primarily in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan) base their holidays on Buddhist, Chinese, or Gregorian calendars.

    Chinese Calendar

    The Chinese calendar, extensively utilized in Asian nations, relies on the oldest system of time measurement nonetheless in use, with its epoch believed to be 2953 B.C.Part of the motive that the Chinese calendar has survived intact for therefore lengthy is that, till the center of the twentieth century, the doc was thought-about sacred. Any modifications to the calendar had been tightly managed by imperial authorities, and the penalty for illegally tampering with the time-keeping system was loss of life. Until the rise of Communism in China throughout the twentieth century, the official calendar was offered to the emperor, governors, and different dignitaries in an annual ceremony. Since 1912 the Gregorian calendar has been in use for civic functions. The Chinese New Year takes place on the new moon nearest to the level which is outlined in the West as the fifteenth diploma of the zodiacal signal of Aquarius. Each of twelve months in the Chinese year is twenty-nine or thirty days lengthy and is split into two components, every of which is 2 weeks lengthy. The Chinese calendar, like all lunisolar techniques, requires periodic adjustment to maintain the lunar and photo voltaic cycles built-in, due to this fact an intercalary month is added when needed. The names of every of the twenty-four two-week intervals generally correspond to festivals which happen throughout the interval. Beginning with the New Year, which takes place in late January or early February, these intervals are identified by the following names: Spring Begins (New Year), the Rain Water, the Excited Insects, the Vernal Equinox, the Clear and Bright, the Grain Rains, the Summer Begins, the Grain Fills, the Grain in Ear, the Summer Solstice, the Slight Heat, the Great Heat, the Autumn Begins, the Limit of Heat, the White Dew, the Autumnal Equinox, the Cold Dew, the Hoar Frost Descends, the Winter Begins, the Little Snow, the Heavy Snow, the Winter Solstice, the Little Cold, and the Great Cold.

    Mayan and Aztec Calendars

    The Mayan and Aztec civilizations each used what is usually referred to as the Mesoamerican calendar. This historic calendar might have derived from the Olmec civilization, which thrived between 1300 and 400 B.C.in what's now southeastern Mexico, alongside the Gulf. The Mesoamerican calendrical system in all probability originated between 1000–900 B.C. and employed not only one calendar, however a system of two interconnecting calendars: a 260-day calendar and a 365-day calendar. These two calendars ran alongside one another. Every 52 years, a named day from the 260-day calendar could be the similar as a named day from the 365-day calendar (there are 18,980 days in 52 years, and 18,980 is the least widespread a number of of each 365 and 260). This 52-year cycle was noticed by each the Mayans and the Aztecs. Mayan civilization, in what's now southeastern Mexico, Belize, and parts of Guatemala and Honduras, flourished between about 300–900 A.D., a interval referred to as the Classical Mayan period. The Mayans used the 260-day calendar—referred to as the tzolkin—for sacred functions, and the 365-day solar-based calendar — referred to as the haab — for agricultural functions. The Mayan calendar system employed glyphs, small pictorial inscriptions, to signify such time intervals as a day, a month, and a year, in addition to to signify particular months of the year and particular days in the months. Each day was named for a god who was thought to be manifest as that day. The days’ numbers had been written utilizing a mixture of dots and bars. The 260-day Mayan calendar was divided into 13 months of 20 named days. The 365-day calendar was divided into 18 months of 20 named days plus a short month of 5 days, referred to as Uayeb, or “ominous days.” The 52-year Mayan cycle is named the Calendar Round. The 260-day system is assumed to be the solely certainly one of its sort in the world. Scholars should not sure what the significance of 260 is, although some have famous that the common length of human being pregnant is roughly 260 days lengthy. In addition, the Mayans had a extremely developed data of astronomy, and 260 was a quantity vital in calculating the look of Venus—the planet recognized with the Mayan god Kukulcán, referred to as Quetzalcoatl to the Toltec people, who flourished in Mesoamerica (and dominated the Mayans) from the 10th century to the center of the 12th century. Mayans additionally developed the Long Count, an intensive system of time-reckoning which tried to include the time of the world from its creation to its finish. The Mayans are thought to have developed the Long Count between 400 B.C.and 100 A.D.From this method, they dated the present creation to have occurred in 3114 B.C. (or 3113 B.C., by some up to date calculations). This Long Count, in accordance to some students, will finish in December 2011 (or 2012). The Aztecs (they referred to as themselves Mexica) had been dominant in Mesoamerica after the Toltec empire collapsed, from the early 1300s up till the Spanish started colonization in the early 1600s. Like the Mayans, the Aztecs used the 260-day calendar divided into 13 months of 20 days; they referred to as it tonalpohualli, or “count of day.” Their 365-day calendar additionally consisted of 18 months of 20 days plus a interval of 5 days, which the Aztecs believed to be unfortunate. The Aztecs additionally named their days after deities, however, in contrast to the Mayan system, Aztec numerical notation consisted solely of dots. Aztecs in all probability didn't use a Long Count. At the finish of their 52-year cycle—which they referred to as xiuhmolpilli, or “year bundle”—the Aztecs celebrated the new starting with a fantastic renewal ceremony. Today, the 365-day civil calendar predominates all through the area, although some up to date Mayans additionally proceed to use the 260-day calendar to observe sacred festivals.

    Baha’i Calendar

    The Baha’i calendar, referred to as the Badí (that means “wondrous”), is made up of 19 months, every with nineteen days. Four intercalary days — referred to as A YYAM-I-HA, the Days of Ha—happen after the eighteenth month in common years, whereas 5 are inserted in leap years. Nineteen multiplied by nineteen equals 361, plus 4 intercalary days equals 365. But the quantity nineteen was chosen for greater than its mathematical comfort. The Baha’i faith’s first prophet, Mirza Ali Mohammad (also referred to as the BAB), devised a calendar for the new faith. He had eighteen followers, thus these nineteen unique Babis are remembered in the calendar’s construction. The Nineteen-Day Feast takes place on the first day of every month and constitutes the common Baha’i worship gathering. Each Feast follows the similar three-part format: prayer, congregational business, and fellowship with a shared meal. The Baha’i year begins on the vernal equinox, March 21. Baha’i years are numbered. Year 1 was 1844, the year of the Bab’s Declaration. Each Baha’i month is called for an attribute of God:

  • Bahá (Splendor) March 21
  • Jalál (Glory) April 9
  • Jamál (Beauty) April 28
  • Azamat (Grandeur) May 17
  • Núr (Light) June 5
  • Rahmat (Mercy) June 24
  • Kalimát (Words) July 13
  • Kamál (Perfection) August 1
  • Asmá (Names) August 20
  • ‘Izzat (Might) September 8
  • Mashiyyat (Will) September 27
  • ‘Ilm (Knowledge) October 16
  • Qudrat (Power) November 4
  • Qawl (Speech) November 23
  • Masá’il (Questions) December 12
  • Sharaf (Honor) December 31
  • Sultán (Sovereignty) January 19
  • Mulk (Dominion) February 7
  • Ayyam-i-Ha (Days of Ha; intercalary days): February 26-March 1 (February 26-March 2 in leap years)
  • ‘Alá’ (Loftiness) March 2 (month of fasting)
  • Zoroastrian Calendars

    Zoroastrianism originated in Iran. The faith’s founder Zoroaster is assumed to have lived around 1200 B.C. He transformed a tribal Iranian prince Vishtaspa and by the time of the Sasanian dynasty (226-651 A.D.), Zoroastrianism was the Persian state faith. In response to the Muslim conquest of Persia in the center of the seventh century, many Zoroastrians migrated to India, significantly the western state of Gujarat, the place they grew to become referred to as the “Parsi” (that means “Persian”) neighborhood. The Zoroastrian calendar derived from the historic Babylonian calendar, besides that the former’s days and months had been devoted to non secular beings. In the mid-eighteenth century, some Parsis adopted the Iranian calendar and referred to as it the qadimi calendar, giving rise to the Zoroastrian sect referred to as Kadmi. Others remained with the conventional faith and calendar, although it was a month behind the Kadmi calendar, and had been referred to as Shenshais, usually rendered Shahanshahis. In 1906 the Fasli sect was based, which advocated the use of a calendar nearer to the Gregorian one, through which the new year would all the time start at the vernal equinox and which might add an additional day each 4 years. All three Zoroastrian calendars have the similar twelve 30-day months with 5 intercalary days referred to as Gatha coming at the finish of the twelfth month. The variations are in how every reconciles the lunar year with the pure photo voltaic year. As a end result, a single date on every Zoroastrian calendar corresponds to three completely different Gregorian dates. For instance, in 2002, the first day of the first month (Frawardin 1) fell on March 21 in accordance to the Fasli calendar, on July 22 in accordance to the Kadmi calendar, and on August 21 in accordance to the Shahanshai calendar. The Zoroastrian month names and approximate English meanings are:

  • Frawardin or Fravardin (Humanity) March-April*
  • Ardwahist or Ardibehest (Truth and Righteousness) April-May
  • Hordad or Khordad (Perfection) May-June
  • Tir (Sirius, the Dog Star) June-July
  • Amurdad or Amardad (Immortality) July-August
  • Shahrewar or Sherever (Benevolent Dominion) August-September
  • Mihr or Meher (Fair Dealing) September-October
  • Aban or Avan (Water or Purity) October-November
  • Adar or Adur (Fire) November-December
  • Dae or Deh (Creator) December-January
  • Vohuman or Bahman (Good Mind) January-February
  • Spendarmad or Aspandarmad (Holy Devotion) February-March
  • NOTE: Gregorian month ranges corresponding to the Fasli calendar