Inventing the Ancient Egyptian Calendar System
The ancient Egyptian calendar guided the Egyptians in their daily lives. The annual flooding of the Nile, the payment of taxes, the celebrations of festivals are done in succession with one of the first calendars of the ancient times. Through a series of trial and errors, find out how they invented the calendar that almost mimics our own modern day calendar.
The Search for the Perfect Calendar
At first, they decided to determine the seasons through observing patterns that occur naturally in our environment. The first pattern they may have used is the phases of the Moon. It takes 29 and half days to complete one lunar cycle. This system works perfectly for religious rituals devoted to the Egyptian gods.
However, as the civilization becomes more complex, the Egyptians realized the discrepancies of the days in the lunar calendar. To counter this discrepancy, they used another system of calendar; the annual flooding of the Nile.
The annual inundation of the Nile marked as the starting point of their calendar. But later on, they discovered that for every year of flooding, there can be a discrepancy as long as 80 days. They further searched for other means of developing a calendar system until they looked upon the stars.
If not for their advancement in the science of astronomy, they will never come up with a solar calendar. They used Sirius as a basis for their new calendar. Counting 70 days from its first appearance after the first new moon, this is the first day of the New Year in their calendar system.
Number of Days on the Ancient Egyptian Calendars
With this, they divided the year into 4 seasons, bringing up a 360 day calendar. Of course, they noticed that this is way off the mark and decided to add 5 days at the end of the year as festivals to make a 365 day calendar! Imagine all of them waiting for the special 5 day non working holiday in ancient Egypt!
Problem is, they know that a year contained more than 365 days but were unable to solve this problem. This was only given solution by a Roman Emperor named Augustus Caesar. He employed the leap year that adds a day for every 4 years in the calendar!
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