The Sacred Tzolkin Calendar of the Maya

The “Tzolkin,” also called the Sacred Almanac or Sacred Round, is a sacred cyclical count calendar which consists of 260 days (called “k’in”) within the ancient Maya system. It is considered by most to be the region’s oldest calendar count. The “Tzolkin” was used to mark the dates for the ceremonies performed on the astronomical new year. In these ceremonies, the priests indicated the days when agricultural plantings and religious ceremonies were to take place within the 260 day cycle. Besides the religious purposes, the calendar was very important for…

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Reading the Maya Long Count Date

The Maya Long Count Date consists of three calendars. In Maya dating, the date reads ‘longest to shortest’ from left to right. Beginning on the very left, the ‘Long Count’ calendar date is written first, then the ‘Tzolkin calendar date’ and then lastly, the ‘Haab calendar date’.  Meaning, the Maya written date starts with the longest calendar’s count on the left, and then the ‘Tzolkin date’ is written, and then the ‘Haab date’. For example, using the Maya calendar numbering system, a typical date would read as: “13.0.0.0.0 / 4 Ahau / 8…

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