The Berber calendar is the agricultural calendar traditionally used by Berbers. It is also known as the fellaḥi (ﻓﻼّﺣﻲ "rustic" or ﻋﺠﻤﻲ ʿajamī "foreign" calendar). The calendar is utilized to regulate the seasonal agricultural works.
The Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar, is not suited for agriculture because it does not relate to seasonal cycles. In other parts of the Islamic world either Iranian solar calendars, the Coptic calendar, the Rumi calendar, or other calendars based on the Julian calendar, were used before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar.
The current Berber calendar is a legacy of the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis and the Roman province of Africa, as it is a surviving form of the Julian calendar. The latter calendar was used in Europe before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, with month names derived from Latin. Berber populations previously used various indigenous calendars, such as that of the Guanche autochthones of the Canary Islands. However, relatively little is known of these ancient calendrical systems.
The agricultural Berber calendar still in use is almost certainly derived from the Julian calendar, introduced in the Roman province of Africa at the time of Roman domination. The names of the months of this calendar are derived from the corresponding Latin names and races of the Roman calendar denominations of Kalends, Nones and Ides exist: El Qabisi, an Islamic jurisconsult by Kairawan who lived in the 11th century, condemned the custom of celebrating "pagans'" festivals and cited, among traditional habits of North Africa, that of observing January Qalandas ("Kalends"). The length of the year and of the individual months is the same as in the Julian calendar: three years of 365 days followed by a leap year of 366, without exceptions, and 30- and 31-day months, except for the second one that has 28 days. The only slight discrepancy lies in that the extra day in leap years is not usually added at the end of February, but at the end of the year. This means that the beginning of the year (the first day of yennayer) corresponds to the 14th day of January in the Gregorian calendar, which coincides with the offset accumulated during the centuries between astronomical dates and the Julian calendar.
In addition to the subdivision by months, within the traditional agricultural calendar there are other partitions, by "seasons" or by "strong periods", characterized by particular festivals and celebrations.
Not all the four seasons have retained a Berber denomination: the words for spring and autumn are used almost everywhere, more sparingly the winter and, among northern Berbers, the Berber name for the autumn has been preserved only in Jebel Nafusa (Libya).
An interesting element is the existing opposition between two 40-day terms, one representing the allegedly coldest part of winter ("The nights", llyali) and one the hottest period of summer ("The Dog Days", ssmaym, awussu).
The coldest period is made up by 20 "white nights" (Berber: iḍan imellalen, Arabic: al-lyali al-biḍ), from 12 to 31 dujamber (Gregorian dates: 25 December - 13 January), and 20 "black nights" (Berber: iḍan tiberkanin/isṭṭafen, Arabic al-lyali al-sud), beginning on the first day of yennayer, corresponding to the Gregorian 14 January.
The first day of the year is celebrated in various ways in the different parts of North Africa. A widespread tradition is a meal with particular foods, which vary from region to region (such as a couscous with seven vegetables). In some regions, it is marked by the sacrifice of an animal (usually a chicken). In Algeria, such a holiday is celebrated even by many people who don't use the Berber calendar in daily life.
A characteristic trait of this festivity, which often blurs with the Islamic Day of Ashura, is the presence, in many regions, of ritual invocations with formulas like bennayu, babiyyanu, bu-ini, etc. Such expressions, according to many scholars, may be derived from of the ancient bonus annus (happy new year) wishes.
A curious aspect of the Yennayer celebrations concerns the date of New Year's Day. Though once this anniversary fell everywhere on 14 January, because of a likely mistake introduced by some Berber cultural associations very active in recovering customs on the verge of extinction, at present in a wide part of Algeria it is common opinion that the date of "Berber New Year's Day" is 12 January and not the 14th. Previously the celebration at the 12, two days before the traditional one, it had been explicitly signaled in the city of Oran.
El Azara (Arabic: العزارة) is the period of the year extending, according to the Berber calendar, from 3 to 13 February and known by a climate sometimes hot, sometimes cold.
Before the cold ends completely and spring begins fully, there is a period of the year that is very feared. It consists of ten days straddling the months of furar and mars (the last five of the former and the first five of the latter), and it is characterised by strong winds. It is said that, during this term, one should suspend many activities (agricultural and artisan), should not marry nor go out during the night, leaving instead full scope to mysterious powers, which in that period are particularly active and celebrate their weddings. Due to a linguistic taboo, in Djerba these creatures are called imbarken, i.e. "the blessed ones", whence this period takes its name.
Jamrat el Trab (Arabic: جمرة التراب), "land embers" in English, is the period from 6 to 10 March and known to be marked by a mixture of heavy rain and sunny weather. Jamrat or coal is a term used to describe the state of the earth during this period which becomes warm.
Like the strong winter cold, the Dog Days also last 40 days, from 12 yulyuz (25 July) to 20 ghusht (2 September). The apical moment of the period is the first of ghusht "August" (also the name awussu, widespread in Tunisia and Libya, seems to date back to Latin augustus). On this date, particular rites are performed, which manifestly derive from pre-Islamic, and even pre-Christian, traditions. They consist, in particular, of bonfires (which in many locations take place around the summer solstice: a custom already condemned as Pagan by St. Augustine), or water rituals, like those, common in the coastal towns of Tunisia and Tripolitania, that provide to dive in the seawaters for three nights, in order to preserve one's health. In these ceremonies, whole families used to enter the water, bringing with them even their pets. Though the rite has been revisited in an Islamic frame (in those nights, the water of the Zamzam Well, in Mecca, would spill over, and in the sea there would be beneficial sweet water waves), many call this celebration "the nights of the error". It was in fact usual that, in order to achieve fertility and prosperity, men and women copulated among the flucts.
Another important period for the agricultural calendar is that of the ploughing. In this context, a date considered fundamental is the 17th of (k)tuber, in which one may start ploughing his fields. In Arabic, this period is called ḥertadem, that is "Adam's ploughing", because in that date the common ancestor of humanity is said to have begun his agricultural works.
Following centuries-long contacts with the Arab-Islamic culture, the celebrations linked to the Julian calendar have been sometimes integrated into the Islamic calendar, leading to the suppression of some traditional holidays or to the creation of duplicates.
The most evident example are the celebrations for the new year, which in many cases have been transferred to the first Islamic month, i.e. Muḥarram, and more precisely to the ʿĀshūrā’, which falls on the 10th day of that month. This holiday has an important mournful meaning in the Shia Islam, but it is substantially ignored among Sunnis. Many studies have shown the relationships between the joyful celebration of this holiday in North Africa and the ancient New Year's Day celebrations.
Arabic and Berber names of the Islamic months
|Arabic name||Berber name|
|1||Muḥàrram|| babiyannu (Ouargla)|
|2||Sàfar||u deffer ʿashura'|
|4||Rabiʿ al-thani||u deffer elmilud|
|5||Jumada al-awwal||melghes (Djerba)|
|6||Jumada al-thani||asgenfu n twessarin "the rest (the waiting) of the old women" (Ouargla)|
sh-shaher n Fadma (Djerba)
|7||Rajab||twessarin "the old women"|
|8||shaʿaban||asgenfu n remdan "the rest (the waiting) of Ramadan" (Ouargla)|
|9||Ramadan||sh-shaher n uzum' "the month of the fasting" (Djerba)|
|10||Shawwal||tfaska tameshkunt "the little holiday" (Djerba)|
|11||dhu al-qaʿida||u jar-asneth "that between the two (holidays)" (Djerba)|
|12||Dhu al-Hijjah||tfaska tameqqart "the big holiday" (Djerba)|
|tayyuret tezwaret||The first small moon|
|tayyuret teggwerat||The last small moon|
|tasra tezwaret||The first herd|
|tasra teggwerat||The last herd|
|awdayeɣet yezwaren||The first antelope babies|
|awdayeɣet yeggweran||The last antelope babies|
|awzimet yezwaren||The first gazelle babies|
|awzimet yeggweran||The last gazelle babies|
|ayssi / aysi||?|
Not much is known about the division of time among the ancient Berbers. Some elements of a pre-Islamic, and almost certainly a pre-Roman calendar, emerge from some medieval writings, analyzed by Nico van den Boogert. Some correspondences with the traditional Tuareg calendar suggest that in antiquity there existed, with some degree of diffusion, a Berber time computation, organized on native bases.
There are not enough elements to reconstruct this calendar fully, but known characteristics include many month names' appearing in couples (in the Tuareg world, even in triplets), which suggests a time division different from the present one, made up of months of about 30 days.
Some further information, although difficult to specify and correlate with the situation in the rest of North Africa, may be deduced from what is known about time computation among the Guanches of the Canary Islands. According to a 17th-century manuscript by Tomás Marín de Cubas, they
computed their year, called Acano, by lunations of 29 days (suns) beginning from the new moon. It began in summer, when the sun enters in Cancer, on June 21: at the first conjunction (at the first new moon after the Summer solstice) they celebrated nine festival days for the crop.
The same manuscript states (although somewhat obscurely) that graphical-pictorical records of such calendarial events (tara) were made on different supports, and on this basis some modern scholars identified alleged descriptions of astronomical events connected to annual cycles in a series of geometric paintings in some caves of Gran Canaria island, but the results of these studies are for now highly speculative.
The name of only one month is known in the native language, handed down as Beñesmet. It seems it was the second month of the year, corresponding to August. Such a name, in case it was made up by something like *wen "that of" + (e)smet (or (e)zmet?), may correspond, in the list of medieval Berber month names, with the ninth and tenth months, awzimet (properly aw "baby of" + zimet "gazelle"). But data are too scarce for this hypothesis to be deepened.
The traditional Berber calendar was not linked to an era with respect to which years were calculated. Where traditional ways to compute the years have been preserved (Tuareg civilization), years are not expressed with numbers but each of them has a name characterizing it.
Starting from the 1960s, however, on the initiative of the Académie Berbère of Paris, some Berbers have begun computing the years starting from 950 BC, the approximate date of the rising into power of the first Libyan Pharaoh in Egypt, Shoshenq I, whom they identified as the first prominent Berber in history (he is recorded as being of Libyan origin). For example, the Gregorian year 2019 corresponds to the 2969th year of the Berber calendar.
This innovation has been adopted with conviction by many supporters of the Berber culture and is now a part of the cultural heritage of this people, fully integrated in the system of traditional customs related the North-African calendar.
The Algerian Academy of Amazigh Language is the pre-eminent Algerian council for matters pertaining to the Amazigh language. The Academy was officially established in 27 December 2017 by Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Aoussou
Aoussou (Arabic: أوسو) is the period of the year extending, according to the Berber calendar, over 15 days from 25 July. It is known to be a very hot period.Berbers
Berbers, or Amazighs (Berber language: Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: Amaziɣ, ⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖ, ⵎⵣⵗ) are an ethnic group of several nations indigenous mostly to North and Western Africa.
Berbers constitute the populations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, northern Mali, northern Niger, and a small part of western Egypt.
Berber nations are distributed over an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River in West Africa. Historically, Berber nations spoke the Berber language, which is a branch of the Afroasiatic language family.
There are about 100 million Berbers in North Africa, but only some 25–30 million of them still speak the Berber language. The number of ethnic Berbers (including non-Berber speakers) is far greater than the speakers of the Berber language, as a large part of the Berbers have lost their ancestral language and switched to other languages over the course of many decades or centuries.
The majority of North Africa's population west of Egypt is believed to be Berber in ethnic origin, although due to Arabization and Islamization some ethnic Berbers identify as Arabized Berbers.Most Berber people who speak Berber today live in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, northern Mali, and northern Niger. Smaller Berber-speaking populations are also found in Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Egypt's Siwa town.
There are large immigrant Berber communities living in France, Spain, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and other countries of Europe.The majority of Berbers are currently Sunni Muslim. Although, since recently, some Berbers have openly converted to Shia Islam, Christianity and atheism.
The Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an entirely homogeneous ethnicity, and they encompass a range of societies, ancestries and lifestyles. The unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history.
Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en (singular: a-Mazigh), possibly meaning "free people" or "noble men". The name probably had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers such as Mazices.Some of the best known of the ancient Berbers are the Numidian king Masensen, king Yugerten, the Berber-Roman author Apuleius, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and the Berber-Roman general Lusius Quietus, who was instrumental in defeating the major wave of Jewish revolts of 115–117 in ancient Israel. The Berber queen Dihya, or Kahina, was a religious and political leader who led a military Berber resistance against the Arab-Muslim expansion in Northwest Africa. Kusaila was a 7th-century leader of the Berber Awerba tribe and King of the Iẓnagen confederation and resisted the Arab-Muslim invasion. Yusef U Tashfin was a Muslim king of the Berber Almoravid dynasty. Abbas Ibn Firnas was a Berber-Andalusian prolific inventor and early pioneer in aviation. Ben Bettota was a medieval Berber explorer who departed from Tanja, Morocco and traveled the longest known distances of his time and chronicled his impressions of hundreds of nations and cultures.Biskra
Biskra (Arabic: بسكرة ; Berber: Tibeskert); Latin Vescera) is the capital city of Biskra Province, Algeria. In 2007, its population was recorded as 307,987. Since existence, Biskra was a hub between north and south. Due to its geographical location, its climate, its natural resources, especially farming, it has experienced the passage of all civilizations, from the Romans through the Arabs, even the French. In 1844, Biskra became a French garrison. As of 1935, Biskra was an inland town, the principal settlement of a Saharan oasis watered by the intermittent Oued Biskra. In 1911, it was described as the Nice of Algiers. It is in the southern part of the Algerian rail system, and a favourite winter resort. Large quantities of fruit, especially dates and olives, were grown in the vicinity. The town was a military post, and was the scene of severe fighting in the rebellions of 1849 and 1871.
Biskra has always been appreciated by the warm welcome of its inhabitants. The city is a pole of attraction for tourists, given its tourist potential and mild climate during a good period of the year, hence the need for a general knowledge of the context and these different components were an absolute necessity as it had an impact direct on urban development and vice versa, Biskra has hot desert climate.
Thus the legal and administrative status of a region, the environment through these physical, geographical, climatic and economic data are decisive factors in the construction to be cared for, and take them into consideration.
It is a crossroads between cities in the north of the country. Especially those of east (Constantine, Batna, Khenchela, Setif and Annaba and those of the Center (Alger, M'sila) and the cities of the South is especially (Touggourt, Ouargla, Ghardaia and Hassi-Messaoud).Carnival of Awussu
The Carnival of Awussu, or in French carnaval d'Aoussou, is an annual festive and cultural event that unfolds each 24th of July in Sousse, Tunisia.
It's a parade of symbolic chariots, fanfares and folk groups from Tunisia and elsewhere which takes place near the beach of Boujaafar, at the eve of the beginning of 'Awussu (The word designating the heat wave of the month of August according to the Berber calendar). Originally it was a Pagan feast (Neptunalia) celabrating the god of the seas, Neptune in the Roman province of Africa, and might even go back to Phoenician times : the appellation Awussu is a possible deformation of Oceanus. The cult transformed as time unfold and lost all religious connotations. In the modern era, prior to the Tunisian revolution, the festival was used for political propaganda.In 2014, it was canceled for organizational and financial reasons, but celebrations of the festival resumed in 2015 · .Guerret El Anz
Guerret El Anz is the time of the year, according to the berber calendar, between February 14 and February 19.
This period is known by its cruel cold.History of science and technology in Africa
Africa has the world's oldest record of human technological achievement: the oldest stone tools in the world have been found in eastern Africa, and later evidence for tool production by our hominin ancestors has been found across Sub-Saharan Africa. The history of science and technology in Africa since then has, however, received relatively little attention compared to other regions of the world, despite notable African developments in mathematics, metallurgy, architecture, and other fields.Islamic calendar
The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar (Arabic: التقويم الهجري at-taqwīm al-hijrī) is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca. The civil calendar of almost all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Iran and Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents, wages and similar regular commitments are generally paid by the civil calendar.The Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 AD/CE. During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina) and established the first Muslim community (ummah), an event commemorated as the Hijra. In the West, dates in this era are usually denoted AH (Latin: Anno Hegirae, "in the year of the Hijra") in parallel with the Christian (AD), Common (CE) and Jewish eras (AM). In Muslim countries, it is also sometimes denoted as H from its Arabic form (سَنة هِجْريّة, abbreviated هـ). In English, years prior to the Hijra are reckoned as BH ("Before the Hijra").The current Islamic year is 1440 AH. In the Gregorian calendar, 1440 AH runs from approximately 11 September 2018 to 30 August 2019.Julian calendar
The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC (708 AUC), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 45 BC (709 AUC), by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
The Julian calendar is still used in parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church, in parts of Oriental Orthodoxy and Anabaptism, as well as by the Berbers.
During the 20th and 21st centuries, the date according to the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian date, and after the year 2100 will be one day more.List of calendars
This is a list of calendars. Included are historical calendars as well as proposed ones. Historical calendars are often grouped into larger categories by cultural sphere or historical period; thus O'Neil (1976) distinguishes the groupings Egyptian calendars (Ancient Egypt), Babylonian calendars (Ancient Mesopotamia), Indian calendars (Hindu and Buddhist traditions of the Indian subcontinent), Chinese calendars and Mesoamerican calendars.
These are not specific calendars but series of historical calendars undergoing reforms or regional diversification.
In Classical Antiquity, the Hellenic calendars inspired the Roman calendar, including the solar Julian calendar introduced in 45 BC. Many modern calendar proposals, including the Gregorian calendar itself, are in turn modifications of the Julian calendar.Old New Year
The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Old New Year falls on January 14 in the Gregorian calendar. The same day is celebrated in India as the sun ends its southward journey and starts moving northward: Thai Pongal.
This traditional dating of the New Year is sometimes colloquially called "Orthodox" because it harks back to a time when governments in Russia and Eastern Europe used the Julian Calendar, which is still used by some jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church's liturgical year actually begins in September.Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the season or almost equivalently the apparent position of the Sun relative to the stars. The Gregorian calendar, widely accepted as standard in the world, is an example of a solar calendar.
The main other type of calendar is a lunar calendar, whose months correspond to cycles of Moon phases. The months of the Gregorian calendar do not correspond to cycles of Moon phase.Tunisian Arabic morphology
The grammar, the conjugaison and the morphology of Tunisian Arabic is very similar to that of other Maghrebi Arabic varieties. It is based on Classical Arabic and influenced by Berber languages and Latin, with some morphological inventions. The Berber influence is more noticeable in Pre-Hilalian dialects.Yennayer
Yennayer is the first month of the Berber Year (Berber languages: Aseggas Amaziɣ, ⴰⵙⴻⴳⴳⴰⵙ ⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖ) or the Berber year used since antiquity by the Berbers in North Africa. Its first day corresponds to the first day of January of the Julian Calendar, which is shifted thirteen days compared to the Gregorian calendar, i.e. 14 January of every year.
Probably due to a mistake of the first cultural associations asking to return to this traditional celebration, the opinion that the traditional date is 13 January is very widespread especially in Morocco, Libya and Canary Islands. Whereas in Algeria is 12 January. On 27 December 2017, Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika decided to recognize Yennayer as a public holiday celebrated on 12 January of every year.
|In wide use|