Armenian calendar

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The Armenian calendar is the calendar traditionally used in Armenia.

Armenia Republic in South Caucasus in West Asia

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.


The older Armenian calendar was based on an invariant year length of 365 days. As a result, 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 2010/2011) completed the first full cycle.

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 45 BC, by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

Sothic cycle

The Sothic cycle or Canicular period is a period of 1,461 Egyptian civil years of 365 days each or 1,460 Julian years averaging 365¼ days each. During a Sothic cycle, the 365-day year loses enough time that the start of its year once again coincides with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius on 19 July in the Julian calendar. It is an important aspect of Egyptology, particularly with regard to reconstructions of the Egyptian calendar and its history. Astronomical records of this displacement may have been responsible for the later establishment of the more accurate Julian and Alexandrian calendars.

Armenian year 1 began on 11 July 552 of the Julian calendar, and Armenian year 1462 began on 11 July 2012 of the Julian calendar which co-incided with 24 July 2012 of the Gregorian calendar.

The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.

An analytical expression of the Armenian date includes ancient name of Day of week, Christian name of Day of week, named Day of month, Date, Month, Year number after 552 A.D. and the religious feasts.

The Armenian calendar is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, plus an additional (epagomenal) five days are called aweleacʿ ("superfluous"). Years are usually given in Armenian numerals, letters of the Armenian alphabet preceded by the abbreviation ԹՎ for t’vin "in the year" (for example, ԹՎՌՆԾԵ "in the year 1455").

Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.

Armenian numerals historic numeral system using the majuscules of the Armenian alphabet

The system of Armenian numerals is a historic numeral system created using the majuscules of the Armenian alphabet.

The Armenian alphabet is an alphabetic writing system used to write Armenian. It was developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader. The system originally had 36 letters; eventually, three more were adopted.


The Armenian month names show influence of the Zoroastrian calendar, [1] and, as noted by Antoine Meillet,[ citation needed ] Kartvelian influence in two cases. There are different systems for transliterating the names; the forms below are transliterated according to the Hübschmann-Meillet-Benveniste system.

Zoroastrian calendar

Adherents of Zoroastrianism use three distinct versions of traditional calendars for liturgical purposes, all derived from medieval Iranian calendars, ultimately based on the Babylonian calendar as used in the Achaemenid empire. "Qadimi" ("ancient") is a traditional reckoning introduced in 1006. "Shahanshahi" ("imperial") is a calendar reconstructed from the 10th-century text Denkard. "Fasli" is a term for a 1906 adaptation of the 11th-century Jalali calendar, following a proposal by Kharshedji Rustomji Cama made in the 1860s.

Antoine Meillet French linguist

Paul Jules Antoine Meillet was one of the most important French linguists of the early 20th century. He began his studies at the Sorbonne University, where he was influenced by Michel Bréal, Ferdinand de Saussure and the members of the L'Année Sociologique. In 1890, he was part of a research trip to the Caucasus, where he studied the Armenian language. After his return, de Saussure had gone back to Geneva so he continued the series of lectures on comparative linguistics that the Swiss linguist had given.

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 aracʿFrom old armenian արաց [2] (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 [3] aweleacʿredundant, superfluous Epagomenal days

Days of the month

The Armenian calendar names the days of the month instead of numbering them – a peculiarity also found in the Avestan calendars. Zoroastrian influence is evident in five names. [1]

Days of the month
2Hrandearth mixed with fire
8Mihr Mithra
12 Ani name of a city
14Vanathost, refectioner of a monastery
15Aramazd Ahura Mazda
18Masis Mount Ararat
19Anahit Anahita
20Aragats Mount Aragats
21Gorgorname of a mountain
22Kordvik6th province in Armenia Major
23Tsmakeast wind
26Npat Apam Napat
27 Vahagn Zoroastrian Vahrām ; Avestan Verethragna, name of the 20th day
29Varagname of a mountain
30Gišeravarevening star

See also

Related Research Articles

A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a physical record of such a system. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a partly or fully chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills.

Week unit of time

A week is a time unit equal to seven days. It is the standard time period used for cycles of rest days in most parts of the world, mostly alongside—although not strictly part of—the Gregorian calendar.

Year orbital period of the Earth around the Sun

A year is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the hours of daylight, and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility. The current year is 2019.

Avesta Zoroastrianist scripture

The Avesta is the primary collection of religious texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the otherwise unrecorded Avestan language.

The Iranian calendars are a succession of calendars invented or used for over two millennia in Iran also known as Persia. One of the longest chronological records in human history, the Iranian calendar has been modified time and time again during its history to suit administrative, climatic, and religious purposes.

Mitra Indo-Iranian divinity

Mitra is the name of an Indo-Iranian divinity from which the names and some characteristics of Rigvedic Mitrá and Avestan Mithra derive.

Nowruz Day of new year in the Persian calendar

Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year's Day, also known as the Persian New Year, which is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups.

Mithra Zoroastrian angelic divinity (yazata) of Covenant, Light, and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts; an all-seeing Protector of Truth and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest, and of the Waters.

Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic Divinity (yazata) of Covenant, Light, and Oath. In addition to being the divinity of contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing protector of Truth, and the guardian of cattle, the harvest, and of the Waters.

The history of calendars, means that people creating and using methods for keeping track of days and larger divisions of time, covers a practice with ancient roots.

In astronomy, a Julian year is a unit of measurement of time defined as exactly 365.25 days of 86400 SI seconds each. The length of the Julian year is the average length of the year in the Julian calendar that was used in Western societies until some centuries ago, and from which the unit is named. Nevertheless, because astronomical Julian years are measuring duration rather than designating dates, this Julian year does not correspond to years in the Julian calendar or any other calendar. Nor does it correspond to the many other ways of defining a year.

The intercalary month or epagomenal days of the ancient Egyptian, Coptic, and Ethiopian calendars are a period of five days in common years and six days in leap years in addition to those calendars' 12 standard months, sometimes reckoned as their thirteenth month. They originated as a periodic measure to ensure that the heliacal rising of Sirius would occur in the 12th month of the Egyptian lunar calendar but became a regular feature of the civil calendar and its descendants. Coptic and Ethiopian leap days occur in the year preceding Gregorian leap years.

Mehregan Zoroastrian and Persian (Iranian) festival

Mehregān is a Zoroastrian and Persian festival celebrated to honor the yazata Mithra, which is responsible for friendship, affection and love. It is also widely referred to as the Persian Festival of Autumn.

Zoroastrian festivals Wikimedia list article

Zoroastrianism has numerous festivals and holy days, all of which are bound to the Zoroastrian calendar. The Shahenshahi and Kadmi variants of the calendar do not intercalate leap years and hence the day of the Gregorian calendar year on which these days are celebrated shifts ahead with time. The third variant of the Zoroastrian calendar, known as either Fasli or Bastani, intercalcates according to Gregorian calendar rules and thus remains synchronous with the seasons. For details on the differences, see Zoroastrian calendar.

Dual dating

Dual dating is the practice, in historical materials, to indicate some dates with what appears to be duplicate, or excessive digits, sometimes separated by a hyphen or a slash. This is also often referred to as double dating. The need for double dating arose from the transition from an older calendar to a newer one. For example, in "10/21 February 1750/51", the dual day of the month is due to the correction for excess leap years in the Julian calendar by the Gregorian calendar, and the dual year is due to some countries beginning their numbered year on 1 January while others were still using another date.


Frawardigan is a ten-day period at the end of the Zoroastrian religious year during which the souls of the dead are commemorated.

The Georgian calendar is the ancient or modern calendar of Georgia.

Adoption of the Gregorian calendar

The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar was an event in the modern history of most nations and societies, marking a change from their traditional dating system to the modern dating system that is widely used around the world today. Some countries adopted the new calendar from 1582, some did not do so before the early twentieth century, and others did so at various dates between; however a number continue to use a different civil calendar. For many the new style calendar is only used for civil purposes and the old style calendar remains used in religious contexts. Today, the Gregorian calendar is the world's most widely used civil calendar. During – and for some time after – the change between systems, it has been common to use the terms Old Style and New Style when giving dates, to indicate which calendar was used to reckon them.


  1. 1 2 L. H. Gray, "On Certain Persian and Armenian Month- Names as Influenced by the Avesta Calendar," JAOS 28 (1907), 339.
  2. "արաց - Wiktionary". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  3. Հին հայկական տոմար