According to the ancient legend, the beginning of the Armenian calendar is connected with the victory of Hayk Patriarch over the Babylonian King Bel. In the Middle Ages, Ghevond Alishan pointed out that it occurred in 2492BC on the 11th of August. It is thought that this date also began the Armenian calendar, just as Christ’s birth date begins the modern one.
Though some historians are suspicious about Alishan’s accounts, traditionally the year 2492 as the 1st day of the olden calendar is left mostly undisputed. On August 11, 2007, the 4500 Year was celebrated in Armenia.
The ancient pagan calendar went out of use in Armenia after the adoption of Christianity as an official religion in the IV century. During the next centuries, it gradually slipped into oblivion. Only in the Middle Ages did Alishan and a few other scientists remember it, striving to preserve the past for future generations.
In pagan times, Armenian,s like Greeks and Roman,s named the days of the week after the sun, the moon and the five known at those times planets.
|1. Aregaki – Sunday|
|2. Lousni – Monday|
|3. Hradi – Tuesday|
|4. Paylatsoui – Wednesday|
|5. Lousntagi – Thursday|
|6. Arousyaki – Friday|
|7. Yerevaki – Saturday|
Concerning months, Armenians were using 13 of them like Persians and Egyptians. 12 months had 30 days each, and the 13th month could hold 5 or 6 days depending on whether it was a leap-year or not.
|1. Navasard – 30 days||8. Aregi – 30 days|
|2. Gor – 30 days||9. Aheki – 30 days|
|3. Sahm – 30 days||10. Mareri – 30 days|
|4. Treh – 30 days||11. Margats – 30 days|
|5. Qaghots – 30 days||12. Hrotits – 30 days|
|6. Arats – 30 days||13. Avelyats – 5(6) days|
|7. Meheki – 30 days|
It is notable that in the Armenian Calendar the days of the nth had their distinct names as well. Each day was named after the gods of the Armenian pantheon.
|1. Areg||16. Mani|
|2. Hrand||17. Asak|
|3. Aram||18. Masis|
|4. Margar||19. Anahit|
|5. Ahranq||20. Aragats|
|6. Madegh||21. Grgor|
|7. Astghik||22. Kordouiq|
|8. Mihr||23. Tsmak|
|9. Dzopaber||24. Lousnak|
|10. Mourts||25. Tsron|
|11. Yerezkan||26. Npat|
|12. Ani||27. Vahagn|
|13. Parkhar||28. Sein|
|14. Vanat||29. Varag|
|15. Aramazd||30. Gisheravar|
24 hours of the day also had their sepparate names.
|Nighttime hours||Daytime hours|
|1. Khavarakann||13. Aygn|
|2. Aghjamughjn||14. Tsaygn|
|3. Mtatsyaln||15. Zoratsyaln|
|4. Shaghavotn||16. Tscharagaytyaln|
|5. Kamavotn||17. Sharavighyaln|
|6. Bavakann||18. Yerkratesn|
|7. Havtapyaln||19. Shantakaln|
|8. Gizkan||20. Hrakatn|
|9. Lusatschemn||21. Hourtapyaln|
|10. Aravotn||22. Toghantyaln|
|11. Lusapayln||23. Aravarn|
|12. Paylatsumn||24. Arpoghn|