Society and Culture

The significant of time in Igbo culture

One of the most interesting cases is the comparison of the Igbo calendar with the Gregorian one or better said, the Egyptian calendar for the calendar is of Egyptian origin. Eze Ugbala Ugo of Okporo made a good comparative study of the origin of the 7-dfay week of the Jews, Egyptians, the Romans and English. The Egyptians adopted a seven day week from the names of five planets plus the sun and moon. The Romans and the rest of Europe used the Egyptian names for their days and week. Thus they have the names directly based on the planetary names. However, the English made some changes of the names adapting them to those of their local goods. The Spanish and French still maintains these planetary names as illustrated in the chart below.
Planets                     Spanish                    Englishh
I. Sun                          Domingo                  Sunday, day of the sun, SUNNANDAEG
II. Moon                     Lunes                        Monday, day of the moon, MONANDAEG
III. Mars                     Martes                       Tuesday, -TIW, god of war
IV. Mercury               Miercoles                  Wednesday, – from the god WODEN
V. Jupiter                   Jueves                       Thursday, – Thunderer, – Thor, thunder god
VI. Venus                  Viernes                      Friday, FRIGG, wife of the god, ODIN
VII. Saturn                 Sabado                       Saturday, SAETERSDAEG
Perez Rija testifies that Friday, in Spanish – Viernes is a day consecrated to Venus as the mythological goddess of love. We know that the Igbo four-day week is derive from a cosmological consideration of the four ends of the earth elicited by a legendary vision of the movements of the sun and moon. Now it is very clear that all world calendars are cosmic oriented; the question ritualization of the calendars is because religion is natural to man ion all known cultures. Therefore natural phenomena account for the constant elements in all world calendars in so far as the calendrical order is an imitation of the order of nature. This attempted representation of the cosmic order is made possible by the act of symbolization; and this is why the calendar of each group forms part of their cultural symbols.
So far in the world chronologies, and particularly in Africa, a number of nations and cultures use either the seven- day week or the four-day week; but both calendrical paradigm have African origins, namely the Egyptians and the Igbo until research presents other calendrical paradigms or models, the four-day and seven-day weeks show amazing coincidence. A close look at the Egyptian calendar in its natural stage, coinciding with the natural order, shows that it operates within the frame work of the numbers four and seven as in the case in the     Igbo four-day week.

1 Egyptian calendar: 7 days x 4 weeks = 28 days = 1 month
2 Igbo calendar: 4 days x 7 week = 28 days = 1 month
1 Egyptian calendar: 52 weeks of 7 days = 364 days = 1 year
2 Igbo calendar: 91 weeks of 4 days: 364 days = 1 year  
The two calendars are cosmologically derived now at the same time are related to one divinity or another, thereby showing that religion is an essential component of culture. In ancient Europe , religion and science co-existed as they do today in Africa .
The Igbo calendar is practically the same as the international fixed calendar but for a technical difference in the paradigmatic bases of four and seven-day weeks respectively. Thomas S. Kelvin affirms that one of the best criteria to determine preference or validity of a paradigm is if it reveals a predominantly mathematical form, which is comparable to that of nature or cosmic phenomena, is the best criteria to determine the veracity of rival paradigms. There are two samples of the Igbo native calendar showing a mathematical form, which is lacking in the 7-day week model. While the 4-day week model may have some technical advantage over the 7-day week one, Ceteris Paribus, a 28-day month with 13 months for the year, seems to be the ideal option for the “World Reformed Calendar”. The undeniable month is that there are 13 and not 12 months in a year.       
             Days             Weeks           Month
Igbo           4          x               7      =              1
Egyptian   7          x              4      =              1
The two different paradigmatic forms, as thesis and anti-thesis, coincide in a synthesis. It is not surprising that the numbers, 3, 4, and 7 have high symbolic contents.

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