Armenian calendar

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The Armenian calendar is the calendar traditionally used in Armenia, primarily during the medieval ages.


The Armenian calendar is based on an invariant year length of 365 days. Because a solar day is 365.25 days and not 365 days, the correspondence between it and both the solar year and the Julian calendar slowly drifted over time, shifting across a year of the Julian calendar once in 1,461 calendar years (see Sothic cycle). Thus, the Armenian year 1461 (Gregorian & Julian 2011) completed the first Sothic cycle, and the Armenian Calendar was one year off.

In A.D. 352, tables compiled by Andreas of Byzantium were introduced in Armenia to determine the religious holidays. When those tables exhausted on 11 July 552 (Julian Calendar), the Armenian calendar was introduced. [1]

Year 1 of the Armenian calendar began on 11 July 552 of the Julian calendar. [1] Armenian year 1462 (the first year of the second cycle) began on 11 July 2012 of the Julian calendar (24 July 2012 of the Gregorian calendar).

An analytical expression of the Armenian date includes the ancient names of days of the week, Christian names of the days of the week, days of the month, Date/Month/Year number after 552 A.D., and the religious feasts. [2]

The Armenian calendar is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, plus an additional (epagomenal) five days, called aweleacʿ ("superfluous").

Years are usually given in Armenian numerals; which are letters of the Armenian alphabet preceded by the abbreviation ԹՎ for t’vin, meaning "in the year." For example, ԹՎՌՆԾԵ, which means "the year 1455."


The Armenian month names show influence of the Zoroastrian calendar [3] and Kartvelian influence in two cases (2nd and 3rd months). There are different systems for transliterating the names; the forms below are transliterated according to the Hübschmann-Meillet-Benveniste system:

Months of the year
#Armenian H-M
1 նաւասարդ nawasardnew year Avestan *nava sarəδa
2 հոռի hoṙitwoFrom Georgian ორი (ori) meaning "two"
3 սահմի sahmithreeFrom Georgian სამი (sami) meaning "three"
4տրէtrē Zoroastrian Tïr
5քաղոցkʿałocʿmonth of cropsFrom Old Armenian քաղեմ (kʿałem) meaning "to gather" from PIE *kʷl̥-
6 արաց aracʿharvest-timeFrom old armenian արաց [4] (aracʿ), meaning harvest time, harvest of grape/fruit
7մեհեկանmehekanfestival of Mithra Iranian *mihrakān-; Zoroastrian Mitrō
8 արեգ aregsun monthFrom Old Armenian արեւ (arew) meaning "sun" from PIE *h₂rew-i- also meaning sun
9ահեկանahekanfire festivalIranian *āhrakān-; Zoroastrian Ātarō
10մարերիmarerimid-yearAvestan maiδyaīrya; Zoroastrian Dīn
12հրոտիցhroticʿ Pahlavi *fravartakān; Zoroastrian Spendarmat̰
13 աւելեաց [5] aweleacʿredundant, superfluous Epagomenal days

Days of the month

The Armenian calendar gives the days of the month names instead of numbering them – something also found in the Avestan calendars.

Zoroastrian influence is evident in five names: [3]

Days of the month
#NameArmenian TextMeaning/derivation
2HrandՀրանդearth mixed with fire
7AstłikԱստղիկ Astłik
8MihrՄիհր Mihr (Armenian deity)
12 Ani Անիname of a city
14VanatՎանատhost, refectioner of a monastery
15AramazdԱրամազդ Aramazd
18MasisՄասիս Mount Ararat
19AnahitԱնահիտ Anahit (Armenian goddess)
20AragatsԱրագած Mount Aragats
21GorgorName of a mountain
22Kordvik6th province in Armenia Major
23TsmakԾմակeast wind
26NpatՆպատ Apam Napat
27 Vahagn ՎահագնZoroastrian Vahrām; Avestan Verethragna, name of the 20th day
29VaragՎարագname of a mountain
30Gišeravarevening star


See also

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  1. 1 2 Tumanian, B. (1973). History of Chronology.
  2. Armenian calendar for 2021
  3. 1 2 L. H. Gray, "On Certain Persian and Armenian Month- Names as Influenced by the Avesta Calendar," JAOS 28 (1907), 339.
  4. "արաց - Wiktionary". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  5. "Hin Haykakan Tomar".