Every 4 years we are bombarded with the “leap” year stuff and that’s cool. It is kind of weird how we manage our trips around the sun. We still are a tiny bit ahead of our globe and every hundred years or so we have to make a correction. But then another strange rule comes into play. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400, in which case they are leap years. For example, 1600 and 2000 were leap years, but 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. Similarly, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2900 and 3000 will not be leap years, but 2400 and 2800 will be. I can’t wait to check it out.
Our ancestors were really into astrology and they could see more stars with the naked eye than we can in our era. There was no electricity or heavy smog to muck up the atmosphere, so the astrological star shapes were clearly visible. The age of Pices started one calendar.
We think the ancient Greeks were the first to have a system of time keeping. They would use the Pan-Hellenic games (the Olympics) to measure time-passages. I imagine some track dude who got beat in the marathon saying, “Yeah man, I’ll whip your butt next time at the 48th full moon from now.
Every area of the known world had their own calendar method as soon as people learned to keep records and write. The Romans used various methods; sometimes they would keep track of time by when a regional consulate was appointed. Soon they wanted more “Federal” control and kept time by their Roman Empire founding date and then later by their Emperor’s years in office.
As the Catholic Church became the rulers of the world they started dating everything from the “guestimate” of when Christ was born. That first church calendar, started by Dionysius didn’t work too well because it had the end of the world around 900AD. Then there was a myriad of trial and error calendars from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar which we still use. The Pope Gregory calendar was started at the end of the 15th century but many countries didn’t use it and stayed with the Julian calendar. So, some were singing Auld Lang Sine on March 1st and others on Dec.1st and a few on January 1st…a real mess.
However, we did keep those wonderful “gods” days of the week and months of the year. I guess the church didn’t want to rock too many boats. So, if you choose, you may still worship Thor, on his day Thursday. I am fond of Friday because we can argue over which “god” we are honoring. I personally worship Freyja because she has a very cool chariot pulled by two cats. However, there are other folks who say, “No contraire”, that day is the day of the goddess, Frigga. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s another group that say there is a way to interpret the some Latin meaning from Friday that means Day of Venus. Now this is confusing and probably the reason most people just head for a bar at the end of Friday and say, “Thank Goddess it’s Frigga Friday”.