Difference Between Mayan Calendar and Gregorian Calendar

Mayan Calendar vs Gregorian Calendar

Mayan Calendar is the talk of the town these days because of an interpretation that it has predicted the end of the world in December 2012, especially on 21st of December. Mayan calendar is not an official calendar and not used by many people in the world; it is the Gregorian calendar that is the most important calendar of the world. There are differences between the Gregorian calendar and the Mayan calendar that will be highlighted in his article.

Mayan Calendar

Maya civilization is an ancient civilization dating back to Pre-Columbian times. Mayans are credited with many different skills such as calligraphy and mathematics. They are also credited for having developed a calendar system that was preexisting, but refined by them. This Mayan Calendar was adopted by other civilizations of their times as well such as Toltec and Aztec. Some communities still make use of this Mayan calendar.

The most important feature of the Mayan calendar is the presence of three separate calendar systems called the Long Count, the Haab or the civil calendar, and the Tzolkin or the divine calendar.

These calendars are cyclical in nature and require passing of a set number of days in each cycle before a new cycle can begin. There are three dates in a given day that pertain to all three the Long Count, the Haab, and the Tzolkin. While the Haab is a 365 day calendar, Tzolkin has 260 days with 20 periods of 13 days each. The Long Count was used to calculate astronomical periods. Mayans believed that each universal period in Long Count to be of 2880000 days and that the world gets destroyed with the end of each such cycle. It is this belief that has led many to believe that the dooms day is near, and it has been set as December 21, 2012.

Gregorian Calendar

Gregorian calendar is the most widely used and accepted calendar in the world. It is also called the western calendar or the Roman calendar. The reason why it is called Gregorian is because of the name of the person who introduced it to the world in 1582. He happened to be none other than Gregory XIII the Pope. Most of us are familiar with its features such as it being a solar calendar consisting of 365 days with the calendar divided into 12 months of 30 and 31 days with February being the shortest having just 28 days.

When Gregory took over as Pope, there was too much of confusion regarding the dates in the western world though the earlier Julian calendar was still serving the purpose. In Gregorian system, every year that is divisible by 4 is a leap year and has 366 days while others are normal years having 365 days.

Mayan vs Gregorian Calendar

• Mayan calendar is a calendar developed and refined by the Mayan people and is adopted and used by many other civilizations in pre-Columbian times, whereas Gregorian calendar is the most widely used and accepted calendar of the world.

• There is the difference in length of days in a year between Mayan and Gregorian calendars.

• Mayan calendar is a system of three calendars called the Long Count, the Haab, and the Tzolkin.

• Gregorian calendar was adopted by different countries in different years and it is based upon the earlier Julian calendar.