Monday, September 30, 2013

ARTICLE * 2 *: Egyptian Years & Days - Mystery of the various Egyptian Calendars

“The Egyptian calendar is certainly the only rational calendar that has ever been devised,” wrote the ancient Greek historian Herodotus after his visit to Egypt in the fifth century BCE.

The ancient Egyptians were one of the first nations to use a solar calendar, in around 3,000 BCE, and this shows their great regard for science and the high level of scientific knowledge they had attained. Their calendar was based on the phases of the River Nile and the associated activities in the fields of flooding, seedtime and harvesting, these making up three distinct seasons of four months each. 

These seasons shaped the lives and character of the Egyptian fellaheen (peasants) who were so engrossed in agriculture and the land that they left all other matters — social, political and economic — to outsiders. It was this that facilitated the foreign control of the country and that led to the peasants’ eventual oppression.

Egyptians today use three calendars, the Islamic, Coptic and Western calendar, the last being used by people of both faiths for most secular or official purposes. The Islamic calendar is used only for religious purposes, while the Coptic calendar is used to mark the events of the Christian year and the agricultural almanac by farmers of both faiths.
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SOURCE Ahram Weekly by Samia Abdennour
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