The phrase solar calendar refers to a calendar with features that are connected to the solar system. I more precise terms, a solar calendar has its dates fixed in line with the position of the earth on its axis as it goes around the sun. The movement of the earth around the sun is called revolution. Also, a solar calendar can be determined by the position of the sun on its celestial sphere. A combination of the equinox features through the cutting of the celestial sphere by the orbit of the earth presents a scenario that matches with the positions of the sun. This position results in a uniform predictable set of seasons. The calendar that emerges from these seasons is called the tropical solar calendar (Seidelmann1992, pp.29-33). The underlying feature here is that the sun is shifting locations between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. In this essay, different types of the solar calendar will be named and one main solar calendar will be discussed.
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There are numerous solar calendars. As much as these calendars may be known by different names, they are all the same in terms of the number of days in the year as well as the seasons. There are no significant variations among these solar calendars. What are the names of these solar calendars? The Gregorian solar calendar is the most famous. Then there is the Julian solar calendar, the Thai solar calendar, the Iranian solar calendar, the Baha’i solar calendar, and the Hindu solar calendar. Other solar calendars include the one that is used by the Coptic Church and the one used by Sri Lanka. The one used by the Coptic Church is called the Coptic solar calendar while the one utilized by the people of Sri Lanka is called the Tamil solar calendar (Seidelmann1992, pp.32-36). The Gregorian solar calendar has been identified as the most famous. Why is it so?
The Gregorian Solar Calendar
This is the calendar that is used in the world today. It got its name from a Roman Catholic Church pope called Pope Gregory the thirteenth (Duncan1999, pp.21-23). He is the one who made the changes from the lunar calendar that the Roman Catholic Church was using and the Julian calendar that the rest of the world was using at the time. The Gregorian calendar was a blend of the lunar calendar features and the Julian calendar elements. Historians have not shied away from disclosing that Pope Gregory did not have any idea that was implemented in the Gregorian calendar. A doctor from Calabria who is not well known is the one who took his time to come up with the long-sought solution to the problem of matching the seasons with the Julian calendar as well as the lunar calendar. Both these calendars had failed to achieve this. This doctor, named Aloysius Lilius made several adjustments to the Julian calendar but the most outstanding one was that each year marking the end of one hundred years or a century and is divisible by four hundred is also rightfully called a leap year (Duncan1999, pp.56-58). All these reforms were implemented by Pope Gregory, who ended up taking the credit.
In conclusion, a solar calendar derives its name from features in the solar system. The most well-known solar calendar is the tropical solar which is further divided into the Thai, Baha’i, Tamil, Julian, Coptic, Hindu, Iranian, and the Gregorian solar calendar. The Gregorian solar calendar is the one that is recognized in the world today, having been instituted by Pope Gregory the thirteenth.
Duncan, D. E. (1999). Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. New York: Harper Perennial.
Seidelmann, P. K. (Ed.). (1992). Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac. Sausalito: University Science Books.