Pin Me

How to Make a Mayan Calendar

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/3/2011

If you’re looking to make a Mayan calendar, then we’ve got some great suggestions and methods to do just that. We’ll start with a few intriguing facts about this ancient method of keeping track of the year followed by instructions on how to create one or several versions of the Mayan calendar.

  • slide 1 of 4

    The Far Seeing Aptitude of the Mayan People

    Mayan Calendar Want to make a Mayan calendar for yourself or as a gift to someone who appreciates the fascinating manner which these ancient people independently came up with to measure time and the different ways they used to measure it? We’ve got your means and methods here that we’ll pinpoint shortly. We’ve got a bevy of other standard calendar making resources as well.

    The ancient Mayans of present day South America were quite an extraordinary people with keen insight into the ways of the world and indeed the sprawling universe at large. Far removed from technological advances which make recording and predicting the seasons and astrologically significant meanings, the Mayans were surprisingly accurate.

    Of course, their particular calendar has gained a recent notoriety because some people believe their predictions of either the end of the world or a vast leap in the collective consciousness of its inhabits will take place on December 21, 2012. That date happens to be the winter solstice, and 11:11 AM Universal Time marks the end of the 5,125 Great Cycle of the Ancient Maya Long Count Calendar.

    So folks believe alternatively that this date will signify doom or some sort of collective bloom. Perhaps if the Y2K fanatics expecting Armageddon had a Doomsday GPS back in 2000, it would have announced “recalculating" to head for 2012. But the fact that the Mayans were far-sighted enough to extend their calendar so many centuries ahead of when they lived in the third century A.D. is fascinating in itself.

    By the way, there are many intriguing aspects of Mayan architecture. They used their calendar to plan for agriculture, track and predict astronomical occurrences, and to mark when their seasonal festivities would take place. They used their complex knowledge of mathematics and astronomy to make two significant calendars; one for an astronomical 365 day year called the Haab and one for a ritual year of 260 days known as the Tzolkin. There were others as well.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Understanding How a Mayan Calendar Works

    Maya Calendar Fortunately for you, there is no complex math or knowledge of astronomy necessary to make your own Mayan calendar since they already did it for you 17 over centuries ago. However, since the genuine article is replete with symbols and a numbering system that is probably unfamiliar to you, you'll have to get a handle on what they represent with a little study.

    As you can see from the images here, it's also cylindrical in nature, so you have to also know how symbols and numbers correspond within their system. You'll also need to understand how it actually works which is rather complex in itself. For that I refer you to the history experts from the Discovery Channel franchise at

  • slide 3 of 4

    Calendar Software

    Mayan Calendar Gaianaxos Mayan Calendar Program You’ve essentially got two options; software designed for this purpose or something called a converter which converts Mayan days (in approximation) to the days we use on a standard western calendar. Both types are available on the Web. Since I don’t gather that you want to chisel one out of stone like they did, you’ll need the help of software to make a Mayan calendar due to the complexities we’ve already mentioned.

    We’ve rounded up some of the best possible options with the calendar software that will walk you through the process. This Maya Calendar Program is one that will work. For your convenience it comes with a comprehensive printed manual explaining how their date system works. Another option for making your own Mayan Calendar is at and it this Tzolkin version can be downloaded as a zip file.

  • slide 4 of 4

    Mayan Calendar Calculator

    Maya Date Calculaor Maya Calendar Calculator The Mayan Calendric Calculator at is available for a free download and boasts of being the most complete and versatile calculator for the Mayan Calendar. Another resources to utile in your calendar making endeavors is at With a quick perusal you can find the best options for you depending upon the computer operating system you’re working with to accomplish this task.

    So there you have it, your means to make a Mayan Calendar that you can use to print one for the wall or just have on your computer to refer to and calculate the corresponding days to the western calendars we use. And just in case you're not satified with any of those options, check out the comprehensive list bringing together even more links, refer to the resource roundup listed under Mayan Calendars at