The Inca calendar exists because the Incas follow the stars from rudimentary observatories. They follow the movements of the sun, moon and stars. They follow, register and predict all types of events, like the solstice and equinox. Today, the regular people believe the real name of the Inca stars observatories is Intihuatana, but their real name is Intihuata. The word Intihuata split in two parts; (Inti) that mean sun and (Guata) that mean year.
The Inca people that work in the Intiguatas was call Yancas (Inca astronomer); they work in shifts, 24 hours all year. They were responsible of the Inca calendar. Nearly all Intiguatas have two sections: First, they have an empty square building with windows and sits carve in the wall. Then, the Yancas sit down and follow the sun movements using the windows; different sits, different months of the year. The second section of the Intiguatas was a flat floor of stone with holes. They fill up the holes with water and use them as mirrors to follow the night sky on the water reflection.
The Yancas work was not exclusive for the Inca calendar. Their knowledge was use by the Inca architects to build their temples and cities align with the stars. All the religious ceremonies start when the Yancas say so. The agricultural work seasons were control by the Yancas, they order when and for how long. No one take any decision without seeking the advice of the Yancas. Men call Quillauataquipoc record in Quipus the full day of work of the Yancas.
The Yancas calculate the Inca calendar in two ways: First, they divide the year in 180 days plus 185 days. Then, they divide each part in two, giving the result of the four seasons of the year. The second calculation is a year of 730 days. It had four groups 182, 183, 186 and 179 days. It’s like a double count of 365 days each. It was the calendar use to follow religious ceremonies, agriculture seasons, eclipses, solstices and equinoxes.
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The Inca Government builds hundreds of Intiguatas all over the kingdom, with hundreds of Yancas and Quillaguataquipoc working in there. It’s because each Inca calendar was design for that specific area of the kingdom. The local Yancas have to adapt to the different temperatures, altitudes and traditions of the local people. All calendars of the Inca empire have the same amount of days per year but different ways to count the months. They have different ways to count the weeks and even different days of beginning and end of the year.
The Inca calendar common days when special celebrations were perform are: Solstice: December 22. Zenit: Feb 24. Equinox: March 21. Anti-Zenit: April 16. Solstice: June 22. Anti-Zenith: Aug 28. Equinox: Sept 23 and Zenit: Oct 19. All these dates were the constant celebration dates in the Inca territory. The once a year, Inca adoration to the god sun is celebrate on the summer solstice, every 22nd of June. It’s a monumental ceremony that occurs in Cusco; the event is attracting more and more tourist every year.
The Incas did not invent the technology use in the Inca calendar; it was copy from older civilizations. There is archaeological evidence; that proves the towers of Chankillo ruins at 400 kilometers north from Lima, is a 2300 years old sun observatory and calendar. It belongs to the Chavin the huantar pre Inca culture. The design of the observatory may allow thousands of people to witness various astronomical events. Peruvian archeologist believe the temple have a clear religious purpose.
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, North of Chile and North of Argentina accept again the Inca calendar in 1992. They accept the calendar to unify the region and to help the local archaeologist to unify parameters when talking about time. In 1992 the Incas calendar starts its count in the year 5511, more than twice the worldwide official calendar. It means the history of the Incas is longer of what we thought; it’s sure that deed inside the Andes there still mysteries waiting to be discover.