digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

The Celtic calendar is a compilation of pre-Christian Celtic systems of timekeeping, including the Gaulish Coligny calendar, used by Celtic countries to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals.[1]

Continental Celtic Calendar[edit]

The Gaulish Coligny calendar is possibly the oldest Celtic solar/lunar ritual calendar. It was discovered in Coligny, France, and is now on display in the Palais des Arts Gallo-Roman museum, Lyon. It dates from the end of the second century AD,[2] when the Roman Empire imposed[citation needed] use of the Julian Calendar in Roman Gaul. The calendar is made up of bronze fragments, in a single huge plate. It is inscribed in Gaulish with Latin characters and uses Roman numerals.

The Coligny Calendar is an attempt to reconcile both the cycles of the moon and sun, as is the modern Gregorian calendar. However, the Coligny calendar considers the phases of the moon to be important, and each month always begins with the same moon phase. The calendar uses a mathematical arrangement to keep a normal 12-month calendar in sync with the moon and keeps the whole system in sync by adding an intercalary month every 212 years. The Coligny calendar registers a five-year cycle of 62 lunar months, divided into a "bright" and a "dark" fortnight (or half a moon cycle) each. The months were possibly taken to begin on the new moon, and a 13th intercalary month was added every two and a half years to align the lunations with the solar year.

The astronomical format of the calendar year that the Coligny calendar represents may well be far older, as calendars are usually even more conservative than rites and cults. The date of its inception is unknown, but correspondences of Insular Celtic and Continental Celtic calendars suggest that some early form may date to Proto-Celtic times, roughly 800 BC. The Coligny calendar achieves a complex synchronisation of the solar and lunar months. Whether it does this for philosophical or practical reasons, it points to considerable degree of sophistication.

Medieval Irish and Welsh calendars[edit]

Further information: Gaelic calendar
Further information: Welsh holidays

Among the Insular Celts, the year was divided into a light half and a dark half. As the day was seen as beginning after sunset, so the year was seen as beginning with the arrival of the darkness, at Samhain (in modern times 1 November, or for modern Pagans in early November). The light half of the year started at Bealtaine (in modern times 1 May, or for modern Pagans in early May). This observance of festivals beginning the evening before the festival day is still seen in the celebrations and folkloric practices among the Gaels, such as the traditions of Oíche Shamhna (Samhain Eve) among the Irish and Oidhche Shamhna among the Scots.[3][4]

Julius Caesar said in his Gallic Wars: "[the Gaulish Celts] keep birthdays and the beginnings of months and years in such an order that the day follows the night." Longer periods were reckoned in nights, as in the surviving English term "fortnight" and the obsolete "se'nnight".

The Laws of Hywel Dda make repeated references to periods of nine days (nawfed dydd), rather than the "eight nights" which make up the current word wythnos.[5]

Native Calendar terms in the Celtic languages[edit]

Many calendrical and time-keeping terms used in the medieval and modern Celtic languages were borrowed from Latin and reflect the influence of Roman culture and Christianity on the Insular Celts. The words borrowed include the month names Januarius (Old Irish Enáir, Welsh Ionawr), Februarius (Old Irish Febra, Welsh Chwefror), Martius (Old Irish Mart, Welsh Mawrth), Aprilius (Old Irish Apréil, Welsh Ebrill), Maius (Welsh Mai), Augustus (Old Irish Auguist, Welsh Awst); the names for the days of the week, dies Solis, Lunae, Martis, Mercurii, Jovis, Veneris, Saturni; the terms septimana "week" (Breton sizun, Cornish seithum), kalendae "first day of the month" (Old Irish callann, Welsh calan, Breton kala), tempore "time" (Welsh tymor), matutina "morning" (Cornish metin), vespera "evening", nona "noon" (Welsh nawn), and ôra "hour" (Welsh awr, Breton eur).[6][7]

A number of native Celtic terms survived the adoption of the Roman/Christian calendar, however:

Term Proto-Celtic Gaulish Old Irish/Middle Irish Scottish Gaelic Manx Welsh Cornish Breton
Day / 24-hour period *latįon lat (abbreviation, Coligny Calendar) la(i)the là, latha laa
Day *diį- (sin)diu (to)day dia dia je dydd dydh deiz
Night *nokWt-, *ad-akWi-(?) (tri)nox "(3)-night, (decam)noct- "(10)-night-" nocht, adaig nochd, oidhche noght, oie noeth (in compounds), nos neth (comp.), nos neiz (comp.), noz
Week (eight nights/days) *oktu-nokWt- / *oktu-diį- wythnos "8-nights" eizhteiz "8-days"
Fortnight *kWenkWe-decam-nokWt- cóicthiges "15 (days)" cola-deug (coig latha deug "15 days" pythefnos "15 nights" pemzektez
Month *mīss- mid (read *miđ) mìos mee mis mis miz
Year *bl(e)id-anī- b[l]is (abbreviation, Coligny Calendar) bliadain bliadhna blein blwydd, blwyddyn bledhen bloavezh, bloaz
Season, Period of Time *ammn, *ammn-stero-, *ratio-, *pritu- amman amm, aimser, ráithe àm, aimsir imbagh, emsher amser, pryd amser amzer
Winter *gijamo giamo- gem, gemred geamhradh geurey gaeaf gwav goañv
Spring *ers-āko "end (of winter)" (alt. *uesr-āko "spring[time]"), *ues-ant-ēn-, *ro-bertiā ("torrent, inundation") earrach, robarta earrach arragh gwanwyn, (Old Welsh) ribirthi gwainten reverzi (Old Breton rebirthi)[8][9]
Summer *samo- samo- sam, samrad samhradh sourey haf hav hañv
Autumn *uφo-gijam-r- "under wintertime", *kintu-gijamo "beginning of winter", *sito-[...] "deer-"(?) fogamur foghar fouyr cynhaeaf, hydref kydnyav/kynyav, hedra, here, diskar-amzer ("falling season")
May, May Day *kintu-samVn- (V=indeterminate vowel) "beginning of summer" Cétamain Cèitean Cyntefin
June, Midsummer *medio-samVn- (V=indeterminate vowel) "mid-summer" Mithem(on) Mehefin Metheven Mezeven

In Neopaganism[edit]

In some Neopagan religions, a "Celtic calendar" loosely based on that of Medieval Ireland is observed for purposes of ritual. Adherents of Reconstructionist traditions may celebrate the four Gaelic festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.[10][11]

Some eclectic Neopagans, such as Wiccans, combine the Gaelic fire festivals with solstices and equinox celebrations derived from non-Celtic cultures to produce the modern, Wiccan Wheel of the Year.[12] Some eclectic Neopagans are also influenced by Robert Graves' "Celtic Tree Calendar", which has no foundation in historical calendars or actual ancient Celtic Astrology, instead being derived from Graves' interpretation of the Song of Amergin.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Koch, John T. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO (2006). Page 330.
  2. ^ Duval, P.M. and Pinault, G., Recueil des inscriptions gauloises, Tome 3: Les Calendriers (Coligny, Villards d'Heria), CNRS, Paris, 1986, pp. 35.
  3. ^ Danaher, Kevin (1972) The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs Dublin: Mercier ISBN 1-85635-093-2; pp. 200–229
  4. ^ McNeill, F. Marian (1961) The Silver Bough, Vol. 3. Glasgow: William MacLellan; p. 11-42
  5. ^ Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Laws. Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 31 January 2013.
  6. ^ Loth, Joseph. Les mots latins dans les langues brittoniques, E. Bouillon, 1892, p. 44 (et al.).
  7. ^ Dictionary of the Irish language, Royal Irish Academy, 1983. Online
  8. ^ Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. A historical phonology of Breton, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967, p. 296, p. 248.
  9. ^ Hamp, Eric. "The Indo-European Roots *bher- in the Light of Celtic and Albanian", in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, Volume 39, 1982, pp. 205–218.
  10. ^ Bonewits, Isaac (2006) Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism. New York, Kensington Publishing Group ISBN 0-8065-2710-2. pp.134
  11. ^ McColman, Carl (2003) Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom. Alpha Press ISBN 0-02-864417-4. pp.12, 51
  12. ^ Hutton, Ronald (1991) The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, Blackwell ISBN 0-631-18946-7 p.337
  13. ^ Hutton (1991) pp.145

Further reading[edit]

  • Brennan, Martin, 1994. The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials, and Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions
  • Brunaux, Jean-Louis, 1986 Les Gaulois: Sanctuaires et Rites Paris: Editions Errance
  • Duval, Paul-Marie, et Pinault, Georges [eds] Recueil des Inscriptions Gauloises (R.I.G.), Vol. 3: The calendars of Coligny (73 fragments) and Villards d'Heria (8 fragments)
  • Delamarre, Xavier, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Editions Errance 2003.
  • Dictionary of the Irish language, Royal Irish Academy, 1983. Online
  • Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, University of Wales Press, 2nd Ed., 2002. Online
  • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. Language and history in early Britain, Edinburgh University press, 1953.
  • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone. A historical phonology of Breton, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967.
  • Jenner, Henry. A Handbook of the Cornish Language, AMS Press, 1904, p. 203ff.
  • Koch, John (ed.), "Calendar, Celtic", in Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopaedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, pp. 330–332.
  • Lambert, Pierre-Yves, La langue gauloise, Editions Errance, Paris, 1995, pp. 109–115.
  • Loth, Joseph. Les mots latins dans les langues brittoniques, E. Bouillon, 1892.
  • Matasović, Ranko. Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Brill Academic Publishers, 2009.
  • Nance, Robert Morton. A Cornish-English dictionary, Federation of Old Cornwall Societies by Worden, 1955.
  • Pokorny, Julius, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bern-Munchen 1959–1969.
  • Schrijver, Peter. Studies in British Celtic Historical Phonology. Rodopi, 1995.
  • Vendryes, J. Lexique étymologique de l'irlandais ancien. Dublin-Paris, 1959–(still in progress).

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_calendar — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
53797 videos foundNext > 

Spiritual Journeys Through the Celtic Tree Calendar with Sharlyn Hidalgo

From the birch to the willow, Sharlyn Hidalgo invites you to walk in the footsteps of the druids and enrich your life with the sacred power of trees. This wi...

NION .... (Celtic calendar) thoughts ... 1

Gedanken zu Nion.

Religion Book Review: Celtic Blessings 2013 Wall Calendar by Michael Green

http://www.SpiritualBookMix.com This is the summary of Celtic Blessings 2013 Wall Calendar by Michael Green.

Song of Amergin (Ancient Celtic Calendar song)

The Creator is speaking here (translated by Robert Graves, with my additions))to the Celtic sea people~ I am a stag ~ of seven tines (for strength) 12/24~1/2...

It's a Ghirls Thing promo - Celtic themed charity calendar

This is the promotional video to accompany the 2014 St Laurence's CSC charity calendar. 100% of the profits going to the KANO Foundation and the Drogheda bra...

How to show Agenda listings on the High Desert Celtic Calendar

Religion Book Review: Celtic Mandala 2013 Wall Calendar: Earth Mysteries & Mythology by Jen Delyth

http://www.ReligionBookMix.com This is the summary of Celtic Mandala 2013 Wall Calendar: Earth Mysteries & Mythology by Jen Delyth.

Religion Book Summary: Celtic Mandala 2013 Wall Calendar: Earth Mysteries Mythology by Jen Delyth

http://www.SpiritualBookMix.com This is the review of Celtic Mandala 2013 Wall Calendar: Earth Mysteries Mythology by Jen Delyth.

Religion Book Summary: Celtic Mandala 2013 Engagement Calendar by Jen Delyth

http://www.SpiritualBookMix.com This is the review of Celtic Mandala 2013 Engagement Calendar by Jen Delyth.

Celtic Tri Calendar 2011

The Celtic Tri "calendar girls" calendar 2011 is on sale now 10 months in the making 13 location photo shoots Large A3 Wall hanging design 13 pages in total ...

53797 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

 
The Crusader (subscription)
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:09:44 -0700

Recently, I've discovered that there are other types of astrology. The first I would like to talk about it Celtic Astrology. Celtic Astrology is comparable to Western Zodiacs, but perhaps a little more “quirky”. The modern day followers of Celtic ...
 
Patheos (blog)
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 22:29:54 -0700

This was because the wheel of the year was based upon a celtic calendar, and the lands of their origin were of very different seasons. So the group was considering trying to make their own calendar so that we could celebrate in accordance to our reality.
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Celtic calendar

You can talk about Celtic calendar with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!