Armenian Calendar




(Author: Fr. Ogostinos Sekulian, Mkhitarist Order)


The Beginning of the Armenian Real Calendar in Julian & Gregorian Calendars

The Armenian year, which starts on Navasard 1, has 365 days invariably, and doesn’t have a leap year. The year has 12 months of 30 days each, named:

Navasard, Hori, Sahmi, Tre, Gaghots, Arats, Meheki or Mehekan, Areg, Aheki or Ahekan, Mareri, Margats, Hrotits, after which came a short month of 5 days, called Aveliats.

The Armenian year started on Navasard 1. Until 552 AD, Armenians did not have numbering; they marked the years by such and such year of such and such king.

The Armenian calendar was started being marked from July 11, 552AD.

In 1084, a priest named Sarkavag, established a new calendar called Poqr, Sarkavagadir or Haismavuriats, which was to have a leap year, too; by his calculations, going retroactively, he determined that Navasard 1 had to be August 11, as it was in the time of Mashtots, in the year 428, and the month Aveliats would have 6 days in leap years.

In 1616, Azaria Jughayetsi invented a new calendar. He accepted the leap year system Sarkavag had adopted, but placed Navasard 1 at the advent of spring, on March 21. This calendar was named Azaria’s calendar. He even changed the names of the months, calling them: Tsoghaber, Tzaghkavet, Ptghavet, Aratahos, Gohutiun, Ptghakit, Terevetap, Dziunaber, Sarutsial, Hoghmashunch, Dziunahal, and Manishak.

The new calendar started on October 15, 1582. In that year, October 4 was immediately followed by October 15.

Fr. Ogostinos Sekulian

Translated from armenian by Y.K.

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