History of Lunar Calendar-Brief History of Calendar

Can you imagine a world, where you don’t get to know what time of the day you are in right now. Sounds unreal and hard right? Because time is what balances our life, and provide us with a scheduled that we can follow to improve our value of life. Now for just a minute, if you imagine a world where there is no specific tool or device for you to give you accurate hours, or what day it is? how can you know that how much time shall be divided per task? Someday you may overload yourself the others you may miss some work to do because the sunlight for major part of the day might look same from the windows of your room.

So to provide themselves with solution, the people from the early ages invented some tools, that may help them to tell time. Before the modern world, people with great inventions would observe every little detail of life and in the same manner they started to observe stars. With observation of stars they also started to notice the phases of moon. It was eye catching for them to watch the moon go from C-shaped (crescent) to whole circle (full moon).

History of Lunar Calendar

On the basis of moon basis, some of the communities invented calendars, but there were 2 unique things with these calendars and it was moon phases and how seasons change with respect to those phases. To explain this, let me tell you that the word Month comes from Germanic word which is used for moon. There are Roughly 12 months in a year of Lunar calendar, just with the difference of approximately 20 minutes in time. Before the times of having calendars, people would usually observe lunar and solar activities from naked eyes and that would help them to tell time.

Gregorian Calendar VS Lunar Calendar

As explained in the other blog, Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory, and this calendar was a modification of Julian calendar. It was invented to overcome the leap years and could get more accuracy. Now most of the countries in today’s world uses Gregorian Calendars, because they are much easier to follow. Gregorian calendar is a Christian calendar and that is why most of the names of the months are Christian. Although Gregorian Calendars are used widely, there are still a number of countries that uses lunar calendar as to follow up their religious activities and festivals.

Saudi Arabia is one of those countries that officially uses Lunar Calendar since it was invented. As Lunar calendar specifies their religious festivals and months more accurately than Gregorian calendar. But due to this choice, they are off by 11 days from Gregorian calendar most of the time.

History Of Lunar Calendar

The use of pure lunar calendar has been seen in Islamic history and also some present Islamic countries are keeping up with that tradition. On the other hand, many Pre-Gregorian civilizations have used lunisolar calendars. They had to do some math work, as to avoid the presence of an extra day, they had in their calendar. This calendar took in account the moon phases, seasons and constellations of stars. Lunisolar calendars are most commonly used in the South Asia, likewise Hebrew, Hindus and Buddhists all use lunisolar calendars.

Surprisingly Chinese also have been found to use lunisolar calendars. New years in the Chinese calendar, named Hans shows that it begins after 2nd phase of the dark moon, right after winter solstice.  In Europe 2 types of calendars were in use, one by Nordic Germanics and other by Greeks. The German people are given a lot of credit for the etymology of English when we talk about telling time, for instance; month, night and year etc. On the other hand, Romans transitioned from Greek to Lunar Calendars. Most of these Hellenic calendars initiate from the season of autumn.

Days Of Lunar Month

The synodic average month of Lunar Calendar is 29.53 days which can alternately show the average length of a month and it can be from 29 to 30 days. Below mentioned table will clear out some of the calculations of errors that can help to specify days and can also help to form a lunisolar calendar. This table is just to specify the errors and difference of days that comes between the months.

Number Of DaysMonthError
291StOne day after time interval of two months
301StOne day after time interval of two months
592ndOne day after time interval of thirty-three (33) months
44315One day after time interval of thirty years (30).
144749One day after time interval of three millennia
50272One day after time interval of seventy years.

The interval of forty-ninth month was showing the alternative for Easter computation, proposed by Isaac Newton in 1700.

Lunar Eclipse Cycle And Methodology

According to the record, each year there are two lunar eclipses but on the other hand, the total lunar eclipses are less common in general. If someone is successful to predict the time and date for lunar eclipse, then they can predict the other eclipses too by using eclipse cycle.

Now if we talk about myths related to lunar eclipse then many cultures have played role in that part. In the early times, the Egyptians saw a sow swallowing the moon but it was for a shorter time period. Some of the other cultures announced that they saw lunar eclipse as the moon was being swallowed by other animals. For example in Mayan tradition the animal was recognized as Jaguar but in the Chinese culture  it was said to be a 3 legged toad. Some of tge societies had to face fear in such regard as they thought that it was some demon swallowing up the moon, and so they can make it go away by throwing stones and by cursing it, but list of them are proved to be nothing but just myths.

Types Of Lunar Calendars

  • Islamic Lunar Calendar
  • Chinese lunar calendar
  • Mayan lunar calendar
  • Babylonian lunar calendar

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