The New Mayan Calendar
September 4, 2008
We have all probably heard of ''The End of the World'' that may or may not happen on December 21, 2012. This story is derived from a famous system of counting envisioned by the descendants of the ''Great Mongolian Dispensation''; the Mayans of the Americas. There are a number of studies to suggest that this date is December 23, 2012. This falls on a Sunday based upon our Gregorian Calendar. If it is on the 23rd, hopefully Jesus will be polite and come after the service is over.
Either way, according to their most accurate system of counting, the Mayan clock turns over and the precise measurements all stop and turn to zero. Let us suppose that (for the sake of the concepts put forth in this article) the end of the world falls on December the 21st, which would have been the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere. Our Winter Solstice here in the northern hemisphere. Talk about Yule-tide cheer!
But... Are the Maya so sure about that? Well for one, the concept of ''Zero'' was invented in the Mayan Culture in the Second Century. Three hundred years before any European had heard of it, and even then it came from an Indian Savant named Aryabhata. That's 300 years to be without the idea of an absolute nothing digit. That's a shame. Thats the difference between today and the early 1700's. A huge gap. Plenty of time to figure out all the uses of it in applied mathematics. Just not enough time to sharpen their swords for the European Invasion 1000 years later.
The Abacus vs. The Sword. An easy choice for a conqueror.
The Mayan believed that the Earth was created on August 11, 3114 BC. They believed in an intelligent creation and the return of that creator will spark a new age. Not a happy love festival. As a pictorial, the end of the world ends up with a man covered by a body of water. This would seem to corelate with the Torah Hebrew codex mention in 2012 - ''Asteroid, Comet, Extinction and Extinction'' but does not seem to fit the promises of the same God of the Torah, who says that he will not flood the earth again with water. Perhaps a flood of ash and lava instead?
Well whatever happens... Happens in my opinion. I'm not worried. I am however still confused on the issue of which months have 31 days and why Julius Caesar only gave February 28 days. Therein is the crux of this article.
Based upon all informations I read about the Maya and all mathematics applied, I have come up with a pretty good standard if the end does come and we are still here for whatever reason. The Mayan yearly calendar was composed of eighteen months with twenty days a piece. This comes to 360 days. I have often wondered at this because pulling out the old handy dandy calculator I am baffled to find that if they would have made nineteen months with nineteen days each they would have reached a less sturdy number but closer however to the truth of a 365 day year.
Here's a quick history lesson to catch us all up. The story goes like this - The Druids watched the moon and made the "Lunar Calendar". Ten months = three hundred and four days! The Romans didn't like that. Druids can't count. Silly Druids. The Romans added two more months. Three hundred and fifty five days! Julius Caesar didn't like that at all. Adding an extra month around 45 BC and by adding a leap day every three years he should have gotten it right. Three hundred Sixty Five and One Third Years. Aha yet alas no. Pope Gregory the thirteenth would not have this foolishness. Let's lose the extra month, correct the leap year and call this new era: ''AD''.
And so it was.
But enough of this jibber-jabber. Let's get back to the topic. A calendar that is easier to read, more applicable, and never needs to be replenished.
Let us create a calendar listed January thru December with Six days per week. The days shall be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The numbering of them shall start on Sunday as the first until Saturday as the sixth and will continue in order of five weeks per month until Saturday the thirtieth. So with twelve months in all this will be three hundred and sixty days total. Then let us lay aside the remaining five and one quarter days as a ''Wednesday'' partial month to do nothing but enjoy the end of the year.
Let me explain how we do this into easy steps of logical reason.
#1 Keep the format. No need to move anything drastically around. The format of a 3 by 4 grid of 12 months indicating 4 seasons is a perfect and natural system.
#2 Keep the names. Everyone is used to the English versions of the original Roman names. Keep it. ''June'' is great already. No need for ''Junilius'' or something equally absurd. And of course, ''Friday'' is fantastic enough as it is.
#3 Simplify the data-stream. There is no line or logic as to why some months are scattered here and there. And Julies Ceasers enemies are long but dead. Why not end this February silliness once and for all.
#4 Keep the original 360 days as prescribed by the Mayans. They figured it out first. And it is right so far.
#5 ''Wayeb'' were originally thought to be: ''The five nameless days at the end of the calendar''. These days were considered to be unlucky. They didn't fit the cycle of the Mayan calendar. So let's just stay at home and relax they said. Here, aptly renamed ''Wednesday'' for the similarity in name, it moves as a faux month at the end of the 12 calendar year. A Wednesday in any year would also have five days with the leap day falling on Wednesday the 6th. This gives a whole new meaning to the question - ''Are you working on Wednesday?''
#6 A ''True Weekend''. One day to cease productivity and take off from work if you have a five day work-week. Two days if you are still Monday - Friday. Effective. The question I alway asked myself was - ''Why were there two days in a weekend and why were so many people disgruntled at the fact if they had to work on the ''Weekend''? The answer was simple really. The weekend was almost 1/3 of the entire week. Why?
#7 The overall simple fashion where we could all agree on ''One System'' to never try and figure anything out. Every 2, 8, 14, 20, 26 is Monday and every 5, 11, 17, 23 and 29 falls on your payday if it happens to be Friday. Christmas is always on Sunday. Easter is always on April 13. July the 4th is Thursday.
These are my seven fundamental reasons to adopt the ''New Mayan Calendar''. Imagine the ease and simplicity that could be used to make appointments or have meetings. Any day the 22nd falls on... it is Thursday. And how delightful. Thursday the 22nd is Thanksgiving when it comes in November. How convenient. How easy. The single drawback I see from any of this change would that the calendar kiosk at the mall during Christmas might suffer a small loss.
The adaptation of such a profound calendar shift might send many screaming bloody murder. But I believe that, if once adopted, It would cause a tremendous boost to the economy as well as the overall well-being of a society's ability to believe in the amount of product that it could produce in the first place. A ''Circadian Rhythm'' would be established and the GNP of many nations would prosper.
The application of this calendar could not come at a better time than the year 2012. If the world is flooded with some disaster or if not, then if an asteroid hits the earth in this year then all this work will be for naught. However, let us just say that nothing cataclysmic happens, we just continue to move ever upward and onward in our great human venture. January the first 2013 should be the beginning of this calendar day.
Since in the Gregorian calendar we are supposing that January 1st 2013 starts on a Tuesday, it will be a slight shift to have another Sunday of that month. I suspect that December the 26th (Usually the busiest day of the retail holiday season), being on an old system Wednesday, will have a bookmark in history. I hope that we do indeed have a Christmas that year as well as the last ''Wednesday Day'' of the AD. Perhaps the new era will be called something else instead.
In conclusion, I would like to attribute any and all mathematicians that are too numerous to mention here. And would like to thank every child and every student with the brilliant ideas that they have already invented before here, that I, as an adult, have set down with a logical sequence.
(New Mayan Calendar by Pauly Hart)
Thank you and I welcome your comments.