Tag: Mayan calendar

Jun 28 2012

Mayan calendars from a modern-day perspective

The Mayan civilization created several different calendars used long ago during the Mesoamerica civilization. The Maya had several sophisticated calendar systems, which are quite similar to the 12-month calendar cycle we use today.


Francisco, CFCA staff worker in Guatemala.

These calendars converged and ended on Dec. 21, 2012, although many experts believe the Maya thought this simply represented the end of one cycle and the start of another one.

Francisco Chavajay works in the auditing department for CFCA in Guatemala. Francisco is from the Mayan Tz¥utujil people and had these insights into Mayan calendars.

How does the Mayan calendar differ from the Gregorian calendar we use today?

The Maya had 20 calendars and in many of them their base number was 13. That number is a very important number in the Mayan calendars; as a comparison, 13 would be like the number 30 in the Gregorian calendar we use today.

For example, the “Cholq’ij,” or the lunar calendar, which consists of 20 months of 13 days each, has a cycle of 260 days. The Maya created the “Cholq’ij” calendar based on their observations of the moon¥s movements around the Earth.

The Ab’ is another Mayan calendar, similar to the Gregorian calendar we use today. The Ab’ calendar consists of 365 days in 18 months with 20 days in each month. Read more