Forget about the concept of the Gregorian calendar because the ancient Bulgars had a different perspective on how to count down the days and years. According to their calendar, the year begins with the shortest winter day and comprises 364 “numbered” days. An extra day was added every four years, with particular rules in effect. The shortest day of the year, for example, could never fall on a Sunday.
The centuries-old calendar is based mainly on the movement of the twelve constellations and is dependent on Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun. This demonstrates that the Bulgars had a complete understanding of how the rules of planetary motion functioned. They were probably even aware of the Earth’s movement around the Sun long before scientists discovered this fact.
The ancient Bulgarian calendar
Even though there isn’t much information on people’s daily lives during that period, it is known that many Bulgars were able to comprehend and use the calendar correctly. In comparison, the Chinese calendar could only be utilized by the highly educated. The 12-year cycle of the Ancient Bulgarian calendar served as a model for the Chinese, who later constructed their own chronological system based on it.
In addition, the old Bulgarians also had a much different understanding of New Year’s Day. They referred to the first day of the new year as day zero since it was not included in any week or month. This special unnumbered day was known for its uniqueness and was very much celebrated. As to whether the ancient Bulgarians borrowed their knowledge from another civilization or acquired it through observation has not been established. Although, some of the high priests were highly engaged in astronomical research.
Professor Yordan Vulchev has dedicated his research to the ancient Bulgarian calendar. According to his interpretations, the number of 364 days in a year has true meaning. This is a “golden number” as it can be divided by the number of seasons (4) and by the number of weeks in a year (52). The way the calendar is structured makes it one of the most accurate calendars ever to be compiled despite being around five thousand years older than our modern-day Gregorian calendar.
Recognized by UNESCO for its accuracy
Because of its accuracy and simplicity, UNESCO proposed that the Bulgar calendar be adopted as a world calendar in the 1970s; however, the idea was rejected. The ancient Bulgarian calendar is one of the most substantial pieces of evidence of the highly developed Bulgarian state and civilization. It is part of a much bigger story that showcases the deep historical roots of the Bulgarian nation; a long-forgotten manner of life that gives a new dimension to the passage of time.
If you want to check the current date or maybe your birthday according to the ancient Bulgarian calendar, you can do that on this dedicated website. Just be sure that your friends or colleagues are on the same page about the calendar you’re using before trying to use it to book meetings – you might be waiting a long time for them to show otherwise.