The Maya Calendar System

The ancient Maya kept track of time differently than how we do today and used a calendar system which had remarkable accuracy and complexity. It was a calendar system that was utilized and expressed in many forms, including pyramid temples which acted as calendars. The Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichén Itzá in Yucatan, Mexico was built around sometime between the years 550 to 900 AD. The earliest hieroglyphic date discovered at Chichen Itza dates to 832 AD, when the Toltec culture from Tula became politically powerful and dominated the region. The…

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The Wayeb’

The five unnamed days at the end of the Haab’ calendar are called the “Wayeb’,” This period of time was believed to be a very dangerous time to the Maya. It was believed that during the five day period of the Wayeb’, the passageways between the mortal realm and the realm of the underworld opened up. This left no boundaries that prevented the ill-intending spirits and deities from creating havoc and causing disasters to happen. During this time, the Maya had customs they followed and practiced certain rituals to ward…

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The Maya Haab’ Calendar

A very important calendar that the Maya used was called the Haab’. The Haab’ is a secular calendar that has no religious or spiritual basis associated with it.  This calendar simply counts a solar year of 365 days. Unfortunately, this calendar does not account for the extra quarter-day each year it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun. Our modern calendar corrects for this calculation offset by adding an extra day to February every four years, making a ‘Leap Year.’ The Maya didn’t calculate for the orbital offset on…

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