The Egyptian Moon god Aah - The Lunar Calendar
Aah was an ancient Egyptian moon god and time. He was also revered as a god of fertility. Aah was in charge of the ancient lunar year (12 to 13 months of 28 days each). The ancient Egyptians used the sun, moon, the planets, and the stars as a reference for measuring the passage of time and charted the heavenly skies to make some sort of sense out of their environment. The first ancient Egyptian calendar dates back to 4236 B.C.E. The changing phases of the moon were extremely important to the ancient Egyptians. The earliest Egyptian calendar was based on the cycles of the moon but it did not enable the Egyptians to predict the annual flooding of the Nile. Aah was also revered as a fertility god. The lunar calendar in Egypt was used by priests as a guide to improving the yield of agriculture crops on which much of ancient Egypt's wealth was based.
Aah the god of Fertility
The flooding of the Nile was of such importance that the Egyptians based their lives around it. Months were grouped into three, four-month, seasons.
- Akhet was the time of the Nile flood (June - September)
- Peret was the sowing time (October - January)
- Shemu was the time of harvest (February - May)
The Egyptian months were organized as twelve 30-day months, so there were 5 extra days.
The Myth of Aah and the extra 5 days
In an ancient Egyptian myth the goddess Nut had been cursed by Ra so that should could never give birth on any day of the year. Thoth played a dice game with Aah and won enough lunar light to make five extra days. Thoth inserted them into the month of July. These extra 5 days were not included in the curse of Ra so this allowed Nut to give birth to her five children, Osiris, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, and Set.