And now, just for fun, and because all the photos turned out...the Maya Months
The Maya are famous for their astronomy and their astrology, both of which were sophisticated, complex and accurate. Their grasp and understanding of the sky and how time moved was pretty remarkable. Time was a linear concept to the Maya and their calendar system reflected that. It's possible to track or establish events - previous or future - using a set of complex (at least they are to me) mathematical calculations.
The cycle of Maya months make up the Haab or vague year. It is the Maya version of the 365-day calendar. There are 18 months of 20 days each + 5 days left over at the end of the year and are (were?) the Maya way of tracking the solar year.
So here, you go, the Maya months in order from start to finish. The names of the months here are the colonial era Yucatec names. Each month has a one or two word meaning associated with it which may originally have been linked with the seasonal cycles of life.
Find your birth date and speculate on what the 1 or 2 word meaning of the month may have meant. And if you're really interested learning something about Maya astrology, check out Bruce Scofield's web site for more information.
This month is more frequently written as UO or WO'. The spelling in the photo could simply be whoever cast this concrete stone made a mistake, or I took the photo backwards!
Speculation has it that "enclosed" may mean the end of the growing season. The Maya knew that the solar year was actually 365 1/4 days, but did not adjust their counting systems to incorporate it, tho' they did have a series of mathematical calculations they used to account of the 1/4 day deviations. So over the course of hundred of years, it is possible that by colonial era the Maya month for the end of the growing season could have progressed to mid-November.
The same speculation that thinks the interpretation of MAC as enclosed or the end of the growing season, also speculates that KANKIN as yellow sun represents ripe crops ready for harvest
These were the 5 left over days at the end of the year and were considered to be unlucky or even dangerous days. The Maya believed that during these 5 days the veil between their mortal world and the underworld was at it's thinnest, or completely disappeared, allowing deities with mal-intent the opportunity to step into the mortal world and wreak havoc. To word off potential bad effects, the Maya had a number of ritual activities and practices designed to keep the undesirable deities at bay.
So there you have it 18 months + 5 unfortunate days, or, how the Maya observed the solar year.