Kemet means black and refers to the land of Afrikan people. We call this calendar the royal calendar because it was created before the colonial era, when Afrika was ruled by kingdoms.
Our “Zep Tepi” the first time, is calculated from the first establishment of the oldest stone calendar called “Inzalo Yelanga” as told by Babu Credo Mutwa, commonly known today as the Adam’s calendar in Mpumalanga South Africa and the oldest written one called the Dendera calendar in Egypt/ ancient Kemet.
The first calendar was based on the movement of the Moon around planet earth. The Moon is the fastest celestial body orbiting our planet.
It takes 28 days for the Moon to complete its cycle around our Earth. From New Moon to Full Moon is fourteen days and from full Moon to New Moon is Fourteen days.
Thirteen of such revolutions completed the Afrikan year. The lunar cycle was also used for agricultural purpose, by timing the periods for planting and harvesting, and to assist the king on timing the yearly sacred rituals.
The Moon cycle proved to be too erratic to predict with certainty about its position. It was then decided to also compute our movement around the Sun.
That resulted in a year comprising of 12 months of 30 days, making a year of 360 days. The other five days were assigned as “birth” days of our first spiritual ancestors
Asar/Osiris, Auset/Isis, Hara/Horus, Sete/Set, and Naphtah/Nephtys. One revolution of our planet around the Sun makes one day of 24hrs (12hrs from sunrise to sunset and 12hrs from sunset to sunrise).
The Solar year in the southern hemisphere begins in September on the day of the spring equinox and ends in August. It is comprised of four seasons; summer, winter and their intermediaries spring and autumn. The solar transition through the imaginary line of the equator starts on 21-23 September as the Sun completes its journey from the northern hemisphere.
On the 23 September, the Sun moves one degree southwards and that marks the beginning of a new cycle for the southern hemisphere, we call the Afrikan New Year’s day’. Afrikans believed the day to be the resurrection day of Ausar/Osiris the god of renewal, who breathes life to earth after the la-tent period of winter. Ausar/Osiris was also known as the green god as evident during springtime.
Almost all indigenous cultures in South Africa and the rest of the continent affirm September as the month of new beginnings. That is demonstrated by the way they name the months in the Afrikan calendar. The names describe what is visible in the environment at a particular point in time as earth evolves about the Sun.
The month of September in indigenous South Afrikan languages and meaning
➢ In Twa/Khoi September: Tara //khumu // khâb
➢ In Sesotho Loetse – lots of grass grows and the cows grow fat on it. They produce so much milk that the expression lebese lo etse (the milk has spilled over) is used.
➢ In Setswana Lwetse signifies the coming of the first rains
➢ In Tshivenda – Khubvumedzi Period of re- birth as witnessed in nature
➢ In Tsonga – Ndzhati meaning the beginning and planting season
➢ In Pedi – Lewedi lots of grass grows and the cows grow fat on it. They produce so much milk that the expression lebese lo etse (the milk has spilled over) is used.
➢ In Xhosa – EyoMsintsi blossoming of the coral trees
➢ In Siswati – Inyoni reappearance of the spiritual bird signifying the coming of the first rains
➢ In isiNdebele – uKhukhulamungu
➢ In isiZulu UMandulo which signifies the beginnings.
They all describe beginnings, start of a new cycle as evident in nature. The environment starts to green again after the latent period of winter.
The ancient wisdom keepers were experts in chronicling the movement of stars, constellations and planets.
This knowledge has now evolved into modern astronomy, space science and cosmology. This phenomenon was not unique to the Afrikan continent, but most of the oriental nations like the Chinese and Indian used similar calendar for various reasons.
In these two nations, these principles were embedded in their Taoist and Dharma practices, respectively.
These nations still apply their ancient knowledge systems in implementing educational, health, security, economics, intelligence, agriculture, and observation of their holy days, etc.
Our intention is to encourage all Afrikans all over the world in their diversity, to acknowledge the 23 September as the day of the Afrikan New Year and also recognise the Afrikan calendar.
Our future as Afrikan people can only be be guided by our glorious past.
The Afrikan Calendar will be available in September. Contact the Zindzi Mandela Foundation on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 82 6740880