Talk:Berber calendar

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Yamara 17:36, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

History section[edit]

This states that the Berber calendar originated in 950 BC. Since it is a Julian calendar, with Julian month names, this cannot possibly be correct.

Perhaps the Berber calendar currently uses an era based on 950 BC??? If so this would be a very recent innovation. But it does raise the question of how years are numbered in this calendar, since North Africa was already under Muslim control when AD dating was adopted in Europe.

--Chris Bennett 18:07, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Another possibility would be that this claim has something to do with Pharaoh Shoshenq I having a Libyan family origin. I'm confused as well. I've contacted the original poster for clarification.--Pharos 02:08, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
That is correct. It is dated from the accession in 950 BC of the pharaoh Sheshonq I, which initiated 238 years of Libyans, i.e. Berbers, on the throne of Egypt. source 1 source 2. This is the calendar. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 10:09, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
But it appears that Chris is correct in that this setting of the epoch is a recent innovation. This source attributes it to the Académie berbère (French Wikipedia), based in Paris, and which started work in the 1960s (also being responsible for Neo-Tifinagh). The French and Italian Wikipedia versions of this article also attribute the epoch to the Académie berbère; the Italian version actually notes that previously the year 60 was used as the epoch—I wonder, could that date possibly be related to Vitellius's proconsulship of Africa?--Pharos 15:38, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
This is becoming really interesting. There was a Roman provincial era which modern scholars call the Mauretanian era starting in AD 40 -- see I wonder if the Italian Wiki entry isn't a misprint? If it could be shown that this era was actually used by Berbers until the 1960s, that would make it by far the longest-lived of the Roman provincial eras (the runner up is the "Spanish Era" based on 38 BC, finally abandoned in the 15th century). To my mind it would be rather sad if forces of modern cultural identity politics had replaced a genuine Berber practice, nearly 2000 years old, by a faux "era of Shoshenq" that never previously existed in history. OTOH, the description of this calendar as "agricultural" suggests that years were unnumbered before the 1960s.
Perhaps years were used by a Berber Christian community, if such survived to the 20th century, rather like the Era of Martyrs used by the Copts? I know nothing about the history of Christianity in North Africa after the Islamic conquest. --Chris Bennett 16:08, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, you'll excuse me as I believe I've made a rather silly language error in interpreting the Italian version of this article. On second reading, it's apparent that the article was actually referring to the current epoch emerging in the "Sixties", i.e. the 1960s. Your suggestion that as an "agricultural" calendar it may not have had an epoch before (not since Roman times anyway) seems likely.
By the way, the Italian version (though it's unreferenced to our standards unfortunately), is a featured article there and well worth further consultation; they also have an extended discussion of the modern calendar era at it:Hedjkheperra-setepenra#L' "Era-Sheshonq". Anyway, this discussion has at least pointed out the need for Académie berbère and Anno Provinciae articles.--Pharos 17:49, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree though i am not sure. I contacted the fr wiki author to see if they got any further knowledge. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 10:11, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, the 'Sheshonq era' is used nowadays among Berber activists, but has never been in use in Morocco, where the Berber Calendar (or Julian Calendar) is widely used. The Calendar itself is possibly the most ancient still in use today, but probably not the era. Moroccan calendars usually include three dates: Gregorian, Islamic and 'Fellahi' (or Julian), but only two eras: Christian era for the Gregorian and Hijra era for the Islamic, the Fellahi has no era. --Ilyacadiz (talk) 00:05, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


There is something wrong with the illustration.

I don't read Arabic, but I think the three columns are showing the calendars in the order Muslim / Gregorian / Berber

The Gregorian columns appears to have January starting after 30 December, not 31 December. The first Gregorian day on the RHS (= 1 Yennayer) is the 13th not the 14th, and it repeats the last Gregorian date on the LHS, also the 13th.

Que passa? -- 17:34, 20 September 2007 (UTC) (Chris Bennett, not from my home computer)

I also don't read Arabic, but I think I understand this. We must remember that Arabic reads right-to-left, and columns of numbers etc are also given in this direction, as that's simply what the eye is accustomed to in these cultures. So the rightmost column starts the days of January, and the second-to-rightmost column are the days of Ramadan. This is continued in the two columns on the left, where the circled date is Eid ul-Fitr, the feast day that marks the end of Ramadan. Do you see?--Pharos 20:10, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Good point! Yes, that works, it also gives me 26 Ramadan = 14 January per the top -- but then where is 1 Yennayar on this calendar???? -- 20:41, 20 September 2007 (UTC) (Chris)
Never mind, it's the red "1" at the bottom -- Chris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Berber New Year and Berberism[edit]

Pharos recently added the following:

Yennayer 1 (commonly called "Yennayer") is celebrated as the Berber New Year. It was repopularized as a celebration by Berberist groups in 1968, and is marked even by Berbers who do not regularly follow the calendar; some Algerian Berbers still mistakenly celebrate Yennayer 1 on January 12 (the proper date in 1968) instead of the correct January 14 (the Julian calendar has shifted by two days relative to the Gregorian calendar since that time).

A couple of things here:

1) The Julian calendar has not shifted by two days relative to the Gregorian calendar since 1968. The last shift, by only 1 day, was in 1900. So, what is the evidence that Yennayer 1 fell on January 12 in Algeria in 1968? If true, this appears to be evidence that the Berber calendar, at least in Algeria, did not have a leap year in 1900 or, remarkably, in 1800 -- i.e. that it was following Gregorian leap day rules 30 years before the French conquest. If it is also true that some Berbers still equate Yennayer 1 with January 12 then we appear to have two Berber calendars, not one.

2) It is now very clear that the Academie Berbere is manipulating this calendar, having apparently not only introduced a new era but also realigned the year in 1968. This raises the question as whether and to what extent the article is describing a calendar that is in real use or only a proposal of Berberist cultural groups. The Tunisian calendar illustration appears to show that the realignment is in real use in Tunisia, but it doesn't include a year number.

This raises two subsidiary questions:

i) Can we show that the Academie Berbere alignment is also used in Algeria and Morocco?
ii) Is there any evidence that the era of Shoshenq is actually used by real-world Berber communities anywhere in North Africa?

--Chris Bennett 21:19, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Good points all. OK, here are my thoughts on your questions:
1) The thing about the Julian calendar shift is something I read on some website (can't recall which right now) as an "explanation" for the January 12 observance. The explanation may well be incorrect as your knowledge about the Julian calendar demonstrates, but still the Jan. 12 tradition in parts of Algeria appears to be genuine. See here, which unfortunately gives only the vaguest of explanations of the reason for the difference,.
OK, looks good for the alternate date, but the explanation must be wrong. I will strike it, and leave the question open for now. --Chris Bennett 09:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
2) I am not certain that the repopularization of Yennayer happened in 1968 exactly, but it seems extremely likely. Most sources just give "the Sixties" (1968 is however confirmed as the date for the Shoshenq era). From my reading, it appears that Yennayer was continuously celebrated into the 20th century by rural communities before its repopularization in the Sixties. I very much doubt the Berber calendar is in daily use anywhere (including Tunisia) except perhaps in the most extremely rural places; however the observation of Yennayer appears to be relatively widespread.
i) What do you mean, that we're lacking evidence that Algerians celebrate Yennayer on Jan. 14 too?
What is the evidence? I think we have evidence for 1 Yennayer = January 12, but not yet January 14 in Algeria (and, specifically, Kabyle). Something like the calendar page, but from Algeria, would help. However, my impression is that Berberism is, to be polite, a hot political issue in Algeria and not something the government there wants to be seen to encourage. --Chris Bennett 09:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
ii) As I recall, the Italian Wikipedia article comments that, "surprisingly", the Shoshenq era has been picked up even in rural Algeria. No outside sources for this yet.
OK, let's keep on looking.... --Chris Bennett 09:38, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

--Pharos 23:14, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

The Berber calendar (with no era associated) is still widespread in Morocco, although used only in the countryside - roughly half of the country - it is included in every calendar sold in paper shops all over the country. January 1 is always January 14th gregorian style, as it must be, when applying the leap year rule. --Ilyacadiz (talk) 00:09, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

My Edits[edit]

I have edited some statments in the article to avoid some misunderstandings. The Berber Calendar is not per se the calendar used the day of today by the Berbers. The used names for the months are just not the same month's names used by the Berbers before. The story of Sheshonq is not fully to be attributed to the Academie Berbere. It is not that simple at all. Reading the Frensh or Italian wikipedia doesn't make us specialists in the Berber Calendar. Do you believe this wikipedian article is approaching the Berber calendar from this following study, as example: Best regards, Read3r (talk) 15:16, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Speaking for myself, I was completely unaware of the Berber calendar until someone added a note about it on the Julian calendar page. I agree that the article here doesn't have much expert input. Judging by the Web research I have done, it is generally seen as a Julian calendar, not a Gregorian one, and the Academie Berbere has been very active in promoting/reviving it, but there are still many questions I would like to see answered:
What is its history? The article you point to is interesting evidence of a lunar calendar in the Canaries, but was the Berber calendar(s) in the Maghreb also lunar in medieval times? Maybe the Canaries were an isolated community preserving older, pre-Roman, practices. When was the modern Berber calendar introduced and how? I have seen theories that it is of 19th century French origin, or 16th century Spanish origin, which seems to me a little more likely. But it seems to me that it could be even earlier -- being agricultural it could go back to Roman/Byzantine Africa and Mauretania. What did happen to the Julian calendar in the Maghreb after the Arab conquest?
Why are there different (Gregorian) dates for 1 Yennayer, and who keeps what days?
Were years counted before the introduction of the Era of Shoshenq, and if so how?
The text used to say that the Academie Berbere introduced the Era of Shoshenq. You have changed that to say that it "affirmed" the Era of Shoshenq. As a native English speaker, that word means to me that it is older than 1968, that it was in use before then somewhere in the Maghreb, and that the Academie Berbere merely revived and popularised it. Is that what you meant? If so, when was it invented, by whom, and where in the Maghreb was it actually used before 1968? What is sure is that it must be a 20th century innovation.
Please, if you know this type of information and have sources you can point to for it, it would make this article much more valuable. Don't worry about the English, there are plenty of editors willing to help you there. --Chris Bennett (talk) 20:16, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
All those questions seem to me to be very useful.
-1- It can be Julian, but there is no evidence for it.
No, the structure of the calendar itself is conclusive evidence that it is Julian and not Gregorian, or at least not fully Gregorian. See below. --Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Therefore, i changed it in "The modern Berber calendar is derived form the Julian or the Gregorian one". As you see, i pointed here two questions: When we speak on the calendar on the Basis of acual folk's bliefs, traditions and celebrations, then it has to go on the modern calendar. The history of the Berber calender might also be a recent invention, but therefore, we have to use the archeologic and historic source to give some conclusions;
Whether the Berber calendar was lunar of solar, i have no certitude. But i can give an arabic source claiming it was lunar in origion. My only evidence is that the "month" in the berbe language was called "tayurt". "Tayurt" is feminal word for "Ayur" which means "moon".
I think you produced good evidence that the ancient Berber calendar was lunar. --Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
When the modern calendar is introducted is a question that can be devided in two aspects: counting the years => from the adapations of the Academie Berbere. Celebrating the Berber new year=> That is unknown and it can even older than the Pharaonic one [according to an arabic source].
I agree it is unknown, and could even be Roman, but it certainly can't be pharaonic, because this is a Julian calendar. Just because some nationalist claims it is pharaonic doesn't make it so. --Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it is pharaonic, i said "it can be older than the pharaonic calendar".
No it can't. The lunar calendar of the Canaries might be, but the calendar described in this article cannot be older than 45 BC because it is a Julian calendar--Chris Bennett (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

That is your opinion. In my arabic link, i read it can be. The content of the article doens't matter. You can blank it, or rewrite it. The Berber calendar is the Berber calendar not wat the usual user believed to be. Read3r (talk) 23:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

And the Berber nationalist never claimed it is pharaonic. They claim it is Berber based on the Shoshenq I story. So, try to avoid "Berber nationalist" in this discussion. It is not the healthy window to approach this discussion. Read3r (talk) 10:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The Frensh origin or Spanish origin would be totally ingored. There is even no need to comment it (if you disagree we can disccuss it).
I agree about the French. If it were French then the Berber year would be Gregorian, beginning on 1 January not 14 (or 13 or 12) January, because the French conquered the Magheb after they had adopted the Gregorian calendar.
Spanish I'm not so sure. There was much interaction between the Berbers and the Spanish in the Middle Ages, and there were Spanish conquests in the Magheb in the 16th century, before te adoption of the Gregorian calendar. I think its possible, but again I have no way to prove it.--Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you have to be more honest in this idea (Joke). It is hard to make me believe it. The 16th century, was just the end of the Berber empire. The Berbers were just out Spain with the most celebrated scientists and philosophers of that time like as "Averroes" and Abbas ibn Firnas. So, i don't think that idea would agreable. Read3r (talk) 10:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Well it's not my idea, I saw a reference to it on a web article that I don;t have time to refind. But, my point was that Berbers and Spanish had interacted for centuries, with Almoravid and Almohad rule in Spain itself. The Berber calendar is a solar calendar and it is used for agricultural purposes, because of the obvious problems with the Muslim lunar calendar for this purpose. If it isn;t a survival of pre-Muslim Roman practice in North Africa, it cuold well have been adopted from the Spanish example. But I don't advocate this idea, I just say I think its plausible in the absence of evidence. --Chris Bennett (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, that is your opinion. although I don't suport it.Read3r (talk) 23:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

::Why are there different (Gregorian) dates for 1 Yennayer, and who keeps what days?

I have no answer for this; That is strange. :)

Again, see below. Thouhg that is just one possiblity that I can think of. --Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The years are not counted in the modern Berber calendar and myabe in the ancient one too. The years were celebrated but not counted, as far as i could understand.
I don't also agree with you when attributing it to other folks/civilizations. The names dosn't tell us very much about its history. The one would know that the modern Berbers count in arabic numbers, would believe that the Berbes had no idea of numbers. But that is not true. The Berber names for the bumbers were just changed by the arabic ones in the Arabic language, that is also the same for the day's names.
I say that the A.B. affirmed it, because it didn't invent the story. The story of Sheshonq I was found in oral traditions in Aures mountains. (See the Frensh extern link in the article here above). So, the Academie Berbere has adopted the story. (Maybe, better word can be more accurate).
Sorry, I'm confused -- what French article is this? In any case, there is no way that this can be an authentic tradition about Shoshenq I, because all knowledge of him was lost except for the biblical Shishak until Champollion. It could be that the Berbers of the Aures learned about him through someone who studied some European Egyptology. I have seen the same thing in Ethipioa, where Ethipioan scholars learned about 21st dynasty kings from Europeans and then incorporated them into a list of Ethiopian kings which was given to an ignorant Englishman who published it, and now some people think this is an authentic transmission of pharaonic history in Ethiopia!--Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree. There are many sotries which are older than two thousands years in the orabal Berber culture. So, it is possible. Furthermore, the question was noted a historian and a specialist in the oral tradition; It was spread among the non-educated people in the rural area's. If it was a recent knowledge, than it would have to spread itself in the urban area's. Futhermore, the name has a differenet spelling in the Algerian belief "Shashnak". And since my source is a specialist in the oral tradition, we connot ignore it. Els you will have to provide another contradiction source! Read3r (talk) 09:59, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I assume this is the article you have linked to below. I'll look at it later. I seriously doubt that this is true. If it were it would be a major discovery. I think someone has misunderstood something,--Chris Bennett (talk) 16:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You're fully free to doubt it. But that is not denying Read3r (talk) 23:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I hope i gave some answers. I do also see i didn't give much info concerning this calendar. But i tried to deny some presumed facts on the Berbe calendar and keeping it in the situations of 'unknown or not fully known'. You can give your opinion. I will also try to give more exact info (although there mostly no exact info). Read3r (talk) 09:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

See also names of the months in Medieval Berber.

Maybe you can see this text in the Netherlands, but it the US I see nothing.--Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
:D Strange! Someone in the Netherlands told me that he does'nt see it. I don't know what is the problem. Read3r (talk) 10:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Yet some links:

in African History and Cultures: An Annotated Bibliography (It goes on the subject of the first link on the Guanche Calendar).

And yet another Arabic link on the Beber Calendar (unfortunatly in Arabic): The Berber new year in Morocco (Arabic)

Read3r (talk) 10:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't read Arabic --Chris Bennett (talk) 03:11, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
That is not a problem Read3r (talk) 10:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Please, let's keep it simple on this talk page[edit]

Let's agree to keep to one topic discussed per talk section heading (as I've tried to do below), OK? These giant sections with multiple inter-threaded conversations are just confusing things. Thanks.--Pharos (talk) 19:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Shoshenq era was introduced by Académie berbère in 1968[edit]

This is a fact backed by WP:RS, specifically the scholar Malha Benbrahim. I don't see any evidence to the contrary.--Pharos (talk) 21:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't jumpt to edit my contributions after some short sentences! If you read the source in the extern link, you will read the evidence of the contrary! It is true that the Berbers count now from the Shehsonq I era, but it is not correct that the Academie Berbere has invented the relationship between Sheshonq I and the Berber calendar. Next time, bother to read my discussions before jumping to edit the or revert the article. Read3r (talk) 22:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

What source are you referring to, exactly? Please provide the relevant passage.--Pharos (talk) 23:46, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Please, read this article: [1]

Dans son livre (1929), "La femme chaouia de l’Aurès", Mathéa GAUDRY, citant E. MASQUERAY, rappelle que yennayer est appelé "Ass n Ferɛun". (le jour du Pharaon). Selon la légende, "les Chaouis fêtaient ce jour-là la mort du Pharaon tombé dans la mer". Cette évocation populaire qui se nourrirait de la victoire des Libyens sur l’Egypte et de l’installation du Roi Chechonq 1er au sommet de la 22e dynastie pharaonique en 950 av. JC.

"Pharaon tombé dans la mer" is surely the pharaoh who chased the children of Israel into the Red Sea! Not Shoshenq.--Chris Bennett (talk) 16:33, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this interpretation. If you ask my opinion (The problem is that i read other stories on the subject. To be honest, i will have to find solid sources. But untill then, the article should not be deciding. But attentive! Read3r (talk) 23:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Personally, i do totally i agree with that Frensh article concerning Yennayer. However it doesn't go on the Berber calendar! So, if you edit the statments concerning the myth of the celebration of Yennayer and it adoption by the Acedemy Berbere, i won't have any objection. But the rest (with is not undertaken in the article) should firstly be discussed in the talkpage. Read3r (talk) 11:04, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Benbrahim's article mentions a 1929 article about a folk belief associating Yennayer with a Pharaoh, but not Shoshenq. Possibly this folk belief (which was not actually about Shoshenq) inspired Académie berbère, but that's about it — and the passage appears quite vague on this.--Pharos (talk) 00:35, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The "Berber calendar" refers to the Julian calendar used by Berbers[edit]

Of course the ancient Berbers had various calendars of indigenous origin before contact with Roman civilization, but there are no WP:RS tying those ancient calendars (of which also nothing is known) to the Julian calendar used by Berbers. The term "Berber calendar" refers exclusively to the Julian calendar.--Pharos (talk) 21:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

And again on the basis of WP:RS ;). Your comment is bizzare! Who decided that the Berber calendar refers exclusiverly to the Julian calendar? And why has the ancient Berbers calender to be tyed to the Julian calendar to be noted? buh, don't revert my contributions before ending this discussion, with the help of the sources and the other users! If needed you can tag it as "unsourced" (source needed) Read3r (talk) 22:46, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Every source which discusses the "Berber calendar" as such, is discussing the Julian Berber calendar. "Berber calendar" is a different concept to "calendars used by Berbers". Your edits are suggesting a connection between ancient Berber calendars and the Julian Berber calendar, as if the latter was a "reform" of the ancient calendars, and there are no sources for this.--Pharos (talk) 23:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Pharos on this. The Berber calendar described in this article, which is the one currently used, is very clearly a Julian calendar. The months have the (Berber versions of) the same names, and the same lengths as the Julian calendar, and they are offset by 11, 12 or 13 days from the Gregorian calendar. That offset is the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars in the 18th, 19th and 20th+21st centuries. The most obvious way to explain the difference in offsets is that it is a difference in how different Berber communities responded to the absence of Gregorian leap years in 1800 and 1900, which suggests to me that Berbers have been using this calendar since before 1800. Maybe there are others. Evidence would be nice. --Chris Bennett (talk) 02:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I think i'm near of understanding you both. Neverthelees, i believe you (both) are mistaken. For two reasons:
The Berber Calendar is not specifically the Berber used today by the Berbes. It is generally the Berber calendar, with practices, beliefs, history, influence, politic, right, nationalism... and so forth. As example i gave an arabic speaking link; That link has "the Berber calendar" as object. Nevertheless, the Julian calendar was small place in his article/book (I don't remember). The second link was called ".. Berber calendar of the Berber population of the Canary islands", nevetheless he gave no time for the Julian calendar. It would be clear that "the Berber calendar" is not the as "the calenar used by the Berbers" as the Personal Computer is not the same as "The Computer used by Read3r"..
It is not for nothing that i changed a statement from "Berber Calendar" to "... modern Berber calendar". You will think it would be solved when calling this article "Modern Berber Calendar", or "Calendar used by the Berbers". No, that is no solution. Because it is not true that the Berbers use the Julian calender as it is. There several non-julian names used by the Berbers, and above all, they use several calendars.
The problematic in this article is the myth of the pharaoh and its adoption by the Academy Berbere. And i believe that we can solve this by building that article on the basis on the given Frensh article. And i hope the user "FayssalF" contribute to this article. Read3r (talk) 11:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
<font, color="blue"> I would also like the article to be broadened to cover other Berber calendars and the history of the Berber calendar. But I agree that that needs to be done by someone who really knows something about the subject. We're all playing blind man and the elephant right now.--Chris Bennett (talk) 16:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree. But that doesn't mean that we would restrict it to the Julian calendar or Academie Berbere. Therefore, I added some edits like "modern Berber calendar" instead of "Berber calendar". and I believe i know more than the blind man. But temporary i'm the busy man, and therefore, i keep it to "inaccurate". I will later try to broaden it seriousely. But now, we should use the specific terms. If the article handles the Berber calendar, then it has to handle the Berber calenar generally; But if it handles the Julian aspect. Then you should give it another name. Even calling it "Modern Berber calendar or Calendar used by the Berbers" is incorrect. I can proove the contrary. Read3r (talk) 23:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

If you look up "Berber calendar" in a dictionary, the description will be about the Julian Berber calendar. And 99% of all known information is on the Julian Berber calendar. If you want to add any information about pre-Julian Berber calendars (such as the Guanche calendar), it should be in a separate section called "Ancient calendars used by the Berbers", or something similar. And that section must not suggest there is a close connection between the Guanche calendar and the Julian Berber calendar, because there is no evidence for this.--Pharos (talk) 00:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course, the article should be seperated to many sections, you can as example write a long section on the Julian calendar. But i don't agree that it would be restricted to the Julian Calendar. The divistion of the article is very useful.Read3r (talk) 10:14, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Guidlines for the article[edit]

I think it would be a long discussion, therefore, i suggest to be more practic. The article should take consideration with the following lines (or something like that):

The Berbers have no united calendar.
The julian names for the months are mixed with islamic and maybe undefined names in soms or many Berber area's.
The Berbers celebrate the Berber new year from unknown periods (tens or thousands years).
The antiquity of the Berber calendar system is unknown.
The modern Berbers don't count the years on the basis of their own calendar, but they use the islamic or Gregorian calendar instead.
The academie Berbere has popularized the association of the yennayer with Sheshonq I.
The Berber activists demand the official recognization of the Berber new year.
Libya has officially celebrated it in 2008.

Those guidline may also be refuted by solid evidences in the article, and other might be completed by other users. Read3r (talk) 00:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The Berbers celebrate the Berber new year from unknown periods (tens or thousands years).
There is no evidence for this at all.--Pharos (talk) 00:46, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh sorry, i wrote in that statment "tens of thousands years" while i meant "tens or thousands years". (Of means "or" in the dutch language :)). Read3r (talk) 10:11, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I tried to find some other serious sources on the myth of Sheshonq I's association, but i didn't succeed. The most sources i read are attributing that to an Algerian myth narrating that the Chef of the Berbers has encountered the Pharaonic army in Beni Snous near of Telmcen, and he defeated them. But i couldn't find in serious evidence/source for that story. Therefore i suggest to write in teh article, that the acedemie berbere would have poplurized the association with Sheshonq I on the basis of an algerian myth that theier chef ...., but the source of the story is unclear howerver Mathéa GAUDRY has cited that "yennayer est appelé "Ass n Ferɛun". (le jour du Pharaon). Selon la légende, "les Chaouis fêtaient ce jour-là la mort du Pharaon tombé dans la mer", that is not clear, since this can be the remains of some hebrew beliefs in the Aures Mountains. Generally, the Berbers seem to consider the months as living figures that can revenge from the people like as some spread stories in North africa show. But, they have no well-known mythes for the begin of their calendar. That would be compared with the Latin myth for the Roman calenar wich believed that it begins with Ramulus the founder of Rome, i though!. Read3r (talk) 11:41, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Origin of the Julian Berber calendar[edit]

This is a (finally!) good source on the subject.--Pharos (talk) 00:50, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

It is a good source on "d’explication de l’introduction du calendrier julien en Afrique du Nord et non de l’origine du calendrier berbère" (The author). You can then use it as background for your contributions. But that would be just a section. I won't agree with presenting it as "the Berber calendar". Men can write an article on the Berber calendar withouth refering to the names of the months, if needed. So, you'are right that would be a good article on the "origin of the Julian Berber calendar". Read3r (talk) 10:31, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The Italian wiki-article[edit]

I have used the "altvista" to translate the featured article in the Italian wikipedia. It was badly translated that i could keep reading, but i believe it is an interesting with serious inpunt. They approached the article from a general perspect (Guanche, Touareg, Berber antiquitiy, festivals, islam..). That what i liked to have been writen in this article. Read3r (talk) 11:25, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Input about the Berber Calendar[edit]

Hello all there. I've studied the subject of the Berber calendar quite a few years and from my own experience (okay, I know this is original research, but on the talkpage it might be allowed...) I can tell the following:

- A big percentage of the traditional Berber population in Morocco, with no connection to modern cultural activists or the Académie Berbère, uses a specific calendar in daily life.
- This calendar is so common that it appears alongside the Gregorian (=modern, also called 'French') calendar and the Islamic (lunar) calendar on every calendar sold at the corner shops or present in a normal Moroccan household. It is called the 'Fellahi' (Peasants) calendar.
- It is not only used for agricultural purposes but mostly for the Moussems, i.e. the annual celebrations at the tombs of holy men, which have a fixed date.
- This calendar is exactly the Julian calendar, as it is used in the Orthodox Church and was used in Russia until 1917. There is no difference at all.
- This calendar has no era associated, years are not counted. When a Moroccan Berber counts years, he uses the Hijra era or the Christian era. Both are well known in Morocco. The so-calles 'Sheshonq era' may be based on a local legend about a victory over a pharaoh, but is definitely a recently introduced aspect, Berber tales can be very old, but do not give exact years for the kings whose battles they recall. The date for the Pharaoh Sheshonq is a modern date consistent with European chronography, not a traditional one.
- The calendar is probably in use since Roman colonization because the pronunciation of the months (yennayer, febrair, mars, nunius (or yuniu) yulius, ghusht, shutambir, ktober, nuwambir, dujambir) does not suggest an introduction by Spain or Portugal. Spain had very few influence or none in the Atlas mountains where this calendar is well conserved in daily use, Portugal in the 16th century had quite a big influence, specially on the Atlantic coast, and its influence cannot be ruled out at once, but the use of this calendar in Algeria, where no Portuguese colonization took place, speaks against this theory.
- The same names (or only slightly different) are used in Arabic manuscripts from several centuries and are considered standard Arabic. This also speaks against an introduction by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century.
- Since 1900 and until 2100, the difference between this (Julian) calendar and the Gregorian one is 13 days. Thus, 'Yennayer' (January 1st) of the Berber calendar falls during this century on January 14th. This is due to the leap year rule: the Julian calendar has a leap year every four years, the Gregorian one drops the leap day once each century, except 1600, 2000, 2400....
- 1 Yennayer (New Year) is celebrated in Morocco always at January 14. Many Algerian Berbers recall a celebration on January 13th which is easy to explain: they dropped the calendar itself after the French colonisation (1830) but kept the feast on the day which was then the correct.
- The date of January 12th might have another explanation, which shows up when reading the entry in French Wikipedia about 'Yennayer': the celebration takes place in the evening, as a dinner. Now, the day in the whole islamic and hebrew world starts at sunset. A celebration at the evening of January 12th points to a New Year Day at January 13th, just as the big celebration of the European New Year starts at the evening of December 31st.
--Ilyacadiz (talk) 00:44, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

January, first month in the list[edit]


Can anyone tell me why the list of months in the Berber calendar starts here with December? It may be true (although I doubt there is any clear evidence on that) that December is considered the first of the three winter months, but as everybody knows, the year of the Berber calendar starts with January 1st (yennayer), which is widely acknowledged in the whole article. So why not start the list of the months with January? Would make much more sense. I don't recall the seasons as a hard fact associated to the calendar itself. If anybody comes up with a good reason to keep the list as it is, okay, otherwise I'll change it in a few weeks time. Greetings --Ilyacadiz (talk) 19:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Now I changed the structure by myself and added the Moroccan names as found in traditional printed calendars which always include the "fellahi" year. I a few weeks time I'll be able to give a more detailed source for the printed calendar (adress of the publishing house), so it won't be original research... I made the assumption that the names given in the first place are Algerian, because they differ from the Moroccan, but this is just an assumption, can anybody clarify that and add a source from which these names are taken? That would be great. --Ilyacadiz (talk) 13:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

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