I must admit, this has been hard to grasp. But this is the truth nonetheless. Romans and Greeks started calculating time after the equinoxes, but the Ancient Africans has always had a different way of telling time altogether. So let`s go through this. And also in a future post there will be calculations (after the Xhosa) calendar, how to observe the ancient traditional festival days, Feast of Weeks, The Temple Feasts - dreaded Day of Atonement and the likes, as we go further into the new year (now in month number 4).
A year traditionally began in June and ended in May the next year, when their brightest star in the southern sky - Canopus - signalled the time for harvesting. The Xhosa months are poetically named after stars and seasonal plants found in South Africa. Urbanised and other places where Roman Christianity has set their brand, the anglicised versions of the months are used, especially revered by the younger generations. But the rural areas of the Eastern Cape - the olden names and traditions are followed by few (by the Masalela - or `remnant` as the Bible calls them).
If we start with understanding the calendar, its starts according to when and how the weather behaves (days, months, seasons and years). So The Everlasting one set a start in the month of June, and so the year begins.
June - EyeSilimela (month of the Pleiades)
July - EyeKhala (month of the aloes)
August - EyeThupha (month of the buds
September - EyoMsintsi (month of the coast coral tree
October - EyeDwarha (month of the tall yellow daisies)
November - EyeNkanga (month of the small yellow daisies
December - EyoMnga - (month of the acacia thorn tree)
January - EyoMqungu (month of the Tambuki Grass)
February - EyoMdumba (month of the swelling grain)
March - EyoKwindla (month of the first fruits)
April - uTshaz'iimpuzi (month of the withering pumpkins)
May - EyeCanzibe (month of Canopus)