Mayan Calendar



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The Maya used several calendars simultaneously.

One of them called the "long count", is a continuous record of days from a zero date that correlates to Aug. 13, 3114 BC, and is more precise than the Julian calendar revised in Europe in 1582.

The TZOLKIN, or short count, also known as the ritual calendar. It consisted of 260 days, divided in 13 periods of 20 days.

The Maya were great astronomers and kept track of the solar and lunar years, eclipses and the cycles of visible planets. To carry out their calendric and astronomical calculations they developed a sophisticated mathematical system where units are written with dots and bars are used to represent five units. They discovered and used the zero as well as a vigesimal positioning system, similar to the decimal positioning system we use today.

 

Months of Solar Calendar

Mayan Month Meaning Mayan Month Meaning
Pop Chief Zac Frog
Uo Night Jaguar Ceh Red Deer
Zip Cloud Serpent Mac Enclosure
Zotz Bat Kankin Dog of the Underworld
Tzec Sky and Earth Muan Bird
Xul Dog Pax Great Puma
Yaxkin First Sun Kayab Turtle
Mol Collection Cumhu Underworld Dragon
Chen Cave of the Moon Uayeb Poisoned
Yax New


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