Possibly the Maya’s most spectacular achievement was their calendar.
Based on their sophisticated astronomical research, their calendar was very complicated and very precise. In fact, it was more accurate than the Gregorian calendar we use today.
The Maya calendar was closely tied to their religious beliefs. They thought that an understanding of time was necessary to have a close connection to the gods. They consulted their calendar to schedule religious ceremonies, plan farming activities, and guide nearly every aspect of their lives.
Each day was associated with a specific god. When a baby was born, the child’s parents were taken to a religious leader who made predictions about the infant’s future and, based on the birth date and time, identified which god would be the baby’s patron. To ensure health and happiness, people had to dutifully worship their patron god throughout their lives.
The Maya believed that five days out of the year known as the Uayeb were extremely unlucky. During these days, they fasted to ward off danger.