As we mark this transition from old to new, it got me to thinking about how we record the passage of time . . . which of course made me think of calendars! In most of the world, the Gregorian calendar—a refinement of the Roman Julian calendar which was adopted in 1582—is used as the standard for secular use.
Some quick research into the history of calendars turned up some very fascinating facts!
The first calendars systems date back to the Bronze Age and the Sumerian calendar was one of the earliest. It was also the first to divide the year into twelve lunar months, each one beginning with the sighting of the full moon.
Early Chinese calendars were based on a five-phase system of 10 moths of 36 days, with a transition of 5-6 days. In India, calendars were . . . complicated, being based on the movements of the planets, the moon and sun.
Perhaps the most complex system developed in Mezoamerica, where the Mayan calendar had two years, divided into a 260 day Sacred Round and a 365 day Vague Year. Within those those increments were a mind-spinning number of different cycles . . . Don’t ask.
So that’s a few fun facts about historical calendars. Whatever way you choose to measure time, may coming days bring health, happiness and all good things!