A Lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases, in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. It’s one of the oldest calendars in the world that creates lunar months, also known as synodic months. A lunar month is simply one that occurs between two successive syzygies, such as new moons and full moons. Although solar calendars, which are determined by the solar and have influenced the Gregorian Calendar, lunar calendars were essential. And, there can impact can still be felt today. For example, each lunation is approximately 291⁄2 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3 seconds, or 29.530588 days). Because of this, it helped determine where each month alternates between 29 and 30 days. The word month is derived from the word moon. Additionally, ancient civilizations used the phases of the moon to help identify the seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter). Since each season has three full moons, this guided them in knowing when to schedule vital activities like harvesting and hunting. Today, the moon calendar is used for ritual purposes, as opposed to official business. Easter, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, and the Chinese New Year are just a handful of holidays that rely on the lunar calendar. A little confused ? Keep reading to learn all about the Luna calendar and the moon phases.
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