How do I Compare the Mayan Calendar With the Aztec Calendar?

Written by wes simons
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How do I Compare the Mayan Calendar With the Aztec Calendar?
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The Mayan calendar was invented by the Mayan people of Central America. The Aztec calendar was adopted from the Mayan calendar and is very similar except for changes to the names of the days. The Aztec calendar is not as mathematically complex as the Mayan calendar, so some of the calculations determining dates are easier. The Mayan calendar and the Aztec calendar are essentially the same. Converting between the two is only a matter of changing the names of the months. Reading the calendars requires an understanding of base 18 and a base 20 counting system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • List of Mayan dates and month names
  • List of Aztec dates and month names

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  1. 1

    Identify which calendar system you are using. The Mayan calendar had three different systems for keeping track of time. According to, only one related the passage of a full calendar year. The easiest way to compare dates between the two calendars is through the Mayan Haab calendar and the Aztec Xiuhpohualli. These two calendars are based on a 365-day cycle closely related to the modern-day calendar.

  2. 2

    Convert the date into a numerical value. Both calendars use a system of symbols or names for their months.

  3. 3

    Use these names and numbers for your conversion. The numbers in front of each name represent the order in which the months occur in the year. For the Mayan calendar: 1 Pop, 2 Uo, 3 Zip, 4 Zotz, 5 Tzec, 6 Xul, 7 Yaxkin, 8 Mol, 9 Chen, 10 Yax, 11 Zac, 12 Ceh, 13 Mac, 14 Kankin, 15 Muan, 16 Pax, 17 Kavab, 18 Cumk.

    For the Aztec calendar: 1 Izcalli, 2 Atlcahualo or Xilomanaliztli, 3 Tlacaxipehualiztli, 4 Tozoztontli, 5 Hueytozoztli, 6 Toxcatl or Tepopochtli, 7 Etzalcualiztli, 8 Tecuilhuitontli, 9 Hueytecuilhuitl, 10 Tlaxochimaco or Miccailhuitontli, 11 Xocotlhuetzi or Hueymiccailhuitl, 12 Ochpaniztli, 13 Teotleco or Pachtontli, 14 Tepeilhiuitl or Hueypachtli, 15 Quecholli, 16 Panquetzaliztli, 17 Atemoztli, 18 Tititl.

  4. 4

    Follow the example of the Mayan day 7 Pop. This would be the seventh day of the first month of the year. To convert this into the Aztec calendar, you would use the same day, the seventh, and change the month from Pop to Izcalli.

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