## Description

This article is from the Calendars FAQ, by Claus Tondering claus@tondering.dk with numerous contributions by
others.

# 8.2. What is the Tzolkin? (Maya Calendar)

The Tzolkin date is a combination of two "week" lengths.

While our calendar uses a single week of seven days, the Mayan

calendar used two different lengths of week:

- a numbered week of 13 days, in which the days were numbered from

1 to 13

- a named week of 20 days, in which the names of the days were:

0. Ahau 5. Chicchan 10. Oc 15. Men
1. Imix 6. Cimi 11. Chuen 16. Cib
2. Ik 7. Manik 12. Eb 17. Caban
3. Akbal 8. Lamat 13. Ben 18. Etznab
4. Kan 9. Muluc 14. Ix 19. Caunac

As the named week is 20 days and the smallest Long Count digit is 20

days, there is synchrony between the two; if, for example, the last

digit of today's Long Count is 0, today must be Ahau; if it is 6, it

must be Cimi. Since the numbered and the named week were both "weeks",

each of their name/number change daily; therefore, the day after 3

Cimi is not 4 Cimi, but 4 Manik, and the day after that, 5 Lamat. The

next time Cimi rolls around, 20 days later, it will be 10 Cimi instead

of 3 Cimi. The next 3 Cimi will not occur until 260 (or 13*20) days

have passed. This 260-day cycle also had good-luck or bad-luck

associations connected with each day, and for this reason, it became

known as the "divinatory year."

The "years" of the Tzolkin calendar are not counted.

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