(833) 666-3436 Live Psychic Readings 10 Minutes For $10.00 New Customer Special - HUGE SALE!!

The Mayan Calendar

The Maya calendar served a more symbolic purpose than merely marking time. It influenced the destinies of both humans and gods.

Discover What The Mayan Priests Would Have Said About You And Your Future..

Click Here to Learn More Based On Your Birthday.  Simply Enter Your Birthday To Begin.

It consisted of two interlocking calendars, the Tzolkin and Haab. A Mayan date was written as a combination of a sacred day from the Tzolkin and a month name from the Haab.

The Haab Calendar

The Haab Calendar is a 365-day solar-based calendar that was the civil calendar of the Mayas. It is divided into 18 months of 20 days each and one month that has only five days (Wayeb). Each day is represented by a number-glyph combination with the name of the month written underneath. Like the Tzolk'in, each glyph represents a personality associated with that month. Each month begins on the first glyph of its namesake, 0 Pop, translated as “the seating of the god.” In the beginning of each named month, the patron deity assumes his or her throne and remains in power throughout that month.

What Does The Maya Say About your Future? Enter Your Birthdate To Find Out

The unlucky five-day period of the Uayeb is known as an ominous time that could precipitate danger, death or bad luck. This is why the Maya observed it with fasting and sacrifices to their gods.

When combined with the Haab, the Tzolk'in and the Long Count calendars, the Maya had a total of 18,980 unique date combinations. These were used to identify dates within a cycle of about 52 years called a Calendar Round. The Maya used these three calendars to track ordinary days and to determine the proper dates for festivals and rituals. They also used them to keep track of the 260 named days of a 365-day cycle. This cycle started at a mythological point called Year Zero, which is equivalant to August 11 or 13 of 3,114 BC on the proleptic Gregorian calendar and September 6 of 3113 astronomical.

The Tzolkin Calendar

The Tzolkin, also known as the Sacred Round, is a ritual calendar of 260 days. It is composed of 13 periods of 20 days each, plus the five-day Wayeb period at the end of the solar year. Each day is assigned a number and a name, which correspond to a god. There are 19 month names and an additional day named Imix, as well as glyphs representing human, plant, and animal gods.

Mayas used the tzolkin to count time and predict the future, just as we use astrological zodiacs to determine our astrological signs. They believed that a person was connected with a god during his or her birth, and that this connection endured through life. A good god favored a person throughout his or her lifetime, while an unfriendly god was a nemesis. People born under a bad deity needed to propitiate the god throughout his or her life, especially during vulnerable times like the unlucky uayeb of the solar year.

The Tzolkin and the Haab are interlocking calendars that form a system of 52 periods of 365 days each. When the Haab and Tzolkin are in sync, it is called a Calendar Round. The Mayas used this system to identify dates when inscriptions were written on temple walls and monuments. The Long Count is a separate count of days that can be used to identify longer historical events.

The Long Count Calendar

The Long Count was the Mayan calendar they used to track time over longer periods. It began with a numbering system of 13 baktuns, katuns, tuns, uinals and kins. Each period was named with a glyph based on its meaning in the Mayan culture and religion. For example, 0 Yaxkin corresponded with the winter solstice, while 1 Yaxkin represented the new sun rising over the horizon.

Unlike the Tzolkin, the Long Count count was not a vigesimal system. Its numbers and names are matched in sequences that repeat every 260 days. A kin was a day, and 20 of these made up a winal. Eighteen winals made up a tun, and 20 tuns made up a b’ak’tun. There were also four rarely-used higher-order periods: piktun, kalabtun, k’inchiltun and alautun.

The Long Count calendar was combined with the Tzolkin and Haab to create the Calendar Round, which is a complete cycle that lasts 52 years. A combination of Tzolkin and Haab dates, such as the day 4 Ahau 8 Kumku, recurs every 52 years and defines the beginning of a new Calendar Round. It is the recurrence of this date that inspired many people to claim that Dec. 21, 2012 would mark the end of the world as we know it. This is incorrect, but the point of confusion seems to be that the first b’ak’tun was created at, which actually translates to August 11, 3114 BCE in the Gregorian calendar.

The Calendar Round

For decades, scholars have puzzled over the 819-day period that recurs in a number of glyphs and Mayan text. This calendar, whose names have been decoded, seems to synchronize the movements of multiple planets in a way that corresponds to 45-year synodic periods (when a planet appears to return to the same point on its orbit) and other astronomical events. But a single planet cannot be precisely aligned with four others in a time span of nearly six months, so the Mayans must have used some other system to correlate planetary events and other calendar dates.

The solution was to combine the solar Maya calendar (Haab) with the sacred Maya calendar (Tzolk'in), giving them the ability to track human and astronomical events over 52-year cycles. Each calendar round consisted of 260 days, and there are 18,980 unique combinations of day and month names that identify a particular date within this cycle.

Each Calendar Round began when the 260-day cycle of the Haab calendar rolled over to begin a new one, and a ceremony was held to mark this event. The start of a calendar round also marked the beginning of a new Vague Year or haab, which lasted 18 months of 20 days each (plus an unlucky five-day period called uayeb).

The fact that a specific long count date on the Gregorian calendar can be matched to the corresponding Haab and Tzolkin dates on the Calendar Round, gives us the ability to reconstruct the Mayan timeline from its original starting point of August 11, 3114 BCE to our own. This timeline can be used to understand the development of the Maya Long Count calendar and its relation to other Mesoamerican cultures, as well as its role in the culture of the people who once lived here.

The Mysterious Mayan Civilization

One of the great mysteries surrounding Mayan civilization is why it suddenly collapsed. Theories abound, but most revolve around ecological changes. The Mayans cut down vast areas of forest and manipulated wetlands for agriculture.

These changes caused erosion and reduced soil fertility. In addition, they drained the lakes and ponds for drinking water.


The ancient Maya believed that the world was flat and was watched over by four strong gods. They also believed that the world was divided into 13 layers, with each layer being represented by a different god. One of the most important gods was Kukulkan, a feathered serpent god, who they believe created humans and taught them law, farming, agriculture, architecture, and writing.

Other major gods include Itzam Na, a god who is not well known, and Ix Chebel Yax, the moon goddess. These gods are often depicted with squinty eyes and long noses, and are believed to be multi-personality gods. This multiplicity of gods is a key aspect of the connective ideas in Maya religion.

The Maya also practiced a variety of other religious rituals including the use of bloodless sacrifice. They offered a number of things as sacrifice, but a popular method was to decapitate living people and then throw their heads, hearts and hands into a cenote or natural well. This was a way for the gods to communicate with them.


Modern civilizations rely on sophisticated engineering infrastructure to sustain populations. We can’t live without water networks that deliver massive amounts of freshwater from remote locations, or sewage systems that turn contaminated water into safe drinking water. The Maya, too, had extensive engineering, but it was designed for a different purpose.

The Maya made use of a wide variety of natural resources for warfare and hunting, crafts, cooking, and ceremonial performances. They quarried enormous quantities of building stone, and carved it into complex structures with palaces, temples, and pyramids. They also developed a sophisticated astronomical and calendrical system.

The Maya used a system of 800 glyphs to represent letters and sounds, and chiseled these inscriptions into stone and inside codices. They also mapped the world around them, constructing elaborate networks of roads through jungle and swamps that allowed kings to travel more easily and trader to reach distant cities. They invented the concept of zero by 36 BCE, and produced highly accurate astronomical observations. This allowed them to create the most precise calendar of any ancient society, with a 260-day sacred cycle and a 365-day secular cycle called the Long Count.


Mayan architects produced magnificent structures that have withstood the ravages of time. The palaces at Tikal and Palenque are examples of such constructions. They incorporated stone carvings showing wars, battles, monarchs and dynasties in their architecture.

Temples were prolific in the Maya city centers, and these structures usually occupied a central position. Often these structures were part of complexes that included plazas and pyramid temples. These structures were built with a number of astronomical concepts in mind, and most of them were oriented according to astronomical traditions.

Stelae (the plural of stela) appear all over Maya lands and were tall stone slabs that had hieroglyphic inscriptions inscribed on them. They were used to record important events, such as the conquest of a rival city or the death of a great ruler.

The Maya developed a number of building techniques, including the use of the zigzag wall. They also developed the concept of a mansard roof, which is a vaulted structure with sloped sides that lean inwards as they rise. The walls of many buildings had a noticeable ridgeline, called the lintels, which distinguished them from other structures.


The Maya created a wide variety of sculpture and art with their limited and rudimentary tools. The Classic period saw a flowering of this work with images of powerful rulers and symbols of their religion covering buildings, pyramid stairways and thousands of stone stelae. The Maya also made paper from the inner bark of fig trees and wrote in hieroglyphs on their books, called codices.

The eagle was an important symbol of the Maya. This bird of prey represented focus and strategy and was linked to the sun god Kinich Ahau. The Maya carved eagles on temples, monuments and stelae.

Wood carving was another common form of art in the Maya culture, although most of the surviving examples are now in museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds one of the only free-standing wooden sculptures known to have survived from the Maya civilization, a figure of a seated man with his arms outstretched as though holding something. This piece was once painted with a brilliant turquoise pigment, now known as Mayan blue. Other colors were created by mixing together red and yellow or adding cochineal (insect bodies) to produce shades of brown.


The Mayans were expert in mathematics and used it to note astronomical events as well as work out their complex calendar. They created two calendars: the sacred, ritual 260-day Tzolkin cycle and the 365 day solar year known as the Long Count.

A large part of the population of a Mayan city worked as farmers and laborers for palaces, temples, and public works projects. These people were often paid with status goods like greenstone beads, copper bells or jade, a green mineral.

Demarest’s team has discovered that the ancient Mayans also traded for non-food items like obsidian, pyrite (fool’s gold), and jade. They gathered other natural resources like obsidian, and grew crops like maize, squash, beans, chili peppers and manioc or cassava to supplement their food supply.

Mayan power was centered in small independent kingdoms called city states that competed with each other for trade and territory. This system was different from the later Aztecs who centralized their empire and built great cities with pyramids and royal tombs. Eventually, this system of dynastic rule broke down and historians have various theories about why.