The Calendar – A Much More Efficient Pyramid

Well, the Mayans were wrong. Our civilization is still safe and sound. According to this ancient system, the world was thought to end on December 21, 2012 as this was the last date on their calendar. However, the calendar dates back even before the Mayans to the Sumerian calendar, which was much like our present-day system. However, not many people stop to think about the origin of our current calendar since calendar printing has come to be an everyday occurrence.

The purpose of the calendar is to consider past or future time and to show how many days until a certain event takes place or how long since an event has happened. The earliest calendars were influenced by the geographical locations of the people who created them; in colder countries, the idea of a “year” was determined by the seasons, particularly the end of winter. However, in warmer countries with little definition to the seasons, the moon became the unit for the calendars.

Among their other accomplishments, the ancient Mayans invented a calendar of remarkable complexity and accuracy. They built pyramids and temples as calendars! For example, four stairways with 91 steps and a platform at the top consisted of 365 days, equivalent to the number of days in one calendar year. However, the Mayan’s calendar system was extremely difficult as they used three different dating systems in parallel: the Tzolkin (divine calendar), the Haab (civil calendar) and the Long Count.

Also known as the Christian calendar and the Western calendar, the Gregorian calendar is the most widely accepted and used calendar today. It has unofficially been the global standard for decades and is recognized by several international institutions. Our modern calendar was a reform in 1582 to the Julian calendar, brought about by the desire to introduce the date for the celebration of Easter. Initially, the reform was adopted by the Catholic countries in Europe; both Eastern Orthodox and Protestant countries continued to use the traditional Julian calendar and only adopted the Gregorian after a period of time.

Our current calendar is based on a solar system consisting of 365 days and a leap year. While leap year occurs every four years, the Gregorian calendar omits three leap days every 400 years; the Julian calendar keeps those leap days.

Since the beginning of civilization, humans have kept track of time by using the moon, stars, and the sun. Man realized that time could be divided into different units throughout the day, the month and the year. While calendar printing was nonexistent back then, it has become a way of everyday life in our present civilization.

Written by Glenn Cummins

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