Aztec Calendar > Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you sure Aztec Calendar.com uses the right correlation?
A: Please define 'right' first ;-)
As a default, Aztec Calendar.com does use the correlation that results in what must be regarded scientifically as the authentic pre-conquest mesoamerican calendar. This certainly holds true for the tonalpohualli, but your local shaman or daykeeper may not agree. With regards to the xihuitl, in pre-conquest days local calendars disagreed on what day the year started and on what day to use as a year bearer (initial -first day of the year- or terminal -last day of the last month-). Feel free to adjust the correlation to your preferred settings on the 'preferences' page.
Q: How does the Aztec Calendar implement leap years?
A: It doesn't.
No pre-conquest mesoamerican calendar ever used leap years. This means that the agricultural implications of their month names gradually slipped away from the periods of the solar year they may originally have designated. Astronomical corections were known and written down, but the calendar itself was not changed [Munro S. Edmonson, "Book of the Year: Middle American Calendrical Systems". University of Utah Press, 1988].
Q: Some authors claim the Aztec Calendar uses leap years, are they wrong?
A: Maybe, but not necessarily.
After the conquest many mesoamerican calendars got fixed to the Julian calendar as used by the Spaniards. Since the Julian (and later the Gregorian) calendar has leap years this effectively introduced leap years to the Aztec Calendar. For the Aztec Calendar this happened around the year 1548. These post-conquest systems are not implemented on this site.
Q: Did the Aztecs have a Long Count, like the Maya did?
A:In order to keep up with astronomical events they must have kept some count of days, so I regard it likely they did. It might have been the same as used by the Maya. However, no direct evidence for an Aztec Long Count exists.
Q: Didn't the world end on December 21, 2012?
A: According Maya belief, December 21, 2012 or the end of the 13th baktun (or b'ak'tun, 144.000 day period) strongly signifies a new beginning. According to the Maya, the end of the previous world and the start of our current era was on a day 4-Xochitl (Ahau) with the Long Count date 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.0.0.0.0. Falling on the winter solstice, the start of the return of the summer, it further emphasizes the quality of a new beginning.
In Aztec mythology, the current world is likely to end on day 4-Ollin.