Mayan K'iche' Calendar

May 2, 2022

Amidst the lush highlands of Guatemala, the K'iche' (previously spelled as K'iche' by the Spanish) Maya continue to weave the intricate tapestry of time with their ancient calendrical system. Unlike the widely recognized Long Count calendar that predicted cycles of cosmic scale, the K'iche' Maya Calendar is intimately tied to the day-to-day spiritual life of the indigenous people, providing a glimpse into the soul of a civilization that regards time as a living, breathing entity.

The K'iche' Calendar: A Blend of Ancestry and Astronomy: The K'iche' Maya Calendar is an amalgamation of astronomical knowledge and ancestral wisdom, functioning as both a chronological record and a spiritual guide. It operates on a 260-day cycle known as the Chol Q'ij, which translates to the "count of days." This system intricately aligns the human realm with the divine, with each day carrying its own unique energy and influence, believed to affect individual destinies and communal activities.

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The Significance of the Chol Q'ij: The Chol Q'ij, also central to other Maya groups, consists of 20 different day names combined with 13 numbers, creating a cycle that mirrors the human gestation period and the growth of maize—both vital elements in Maya cosmology. The K'iche' regard this calendar as a sacred narrative, each day a verse in the poetry of time, each number a pulse in the heart of existence.

  1. Imox
    • Positive: Intuitive, Nurturing
    • Negative: Overprotective, Overwhelming
  2. Iq
    • Positive: Communicative, Encouraging
    • Negative: Anger, Unpredictable
  3. Aq'ab'al
    • Positive: Clarity, Pioneering
    • Negative: Complain, Obscurity
  4. K'at
    • Positive: Organized, Giving
    • Negative: Burdened, Exhausted
  5. Kan
    • Positive: Wise, Charismatic
    • Negative: Egotistical, Fury
  6. Kame
    • Positive: Transformative, Spiritual
    • Negative: Fearful, Oppressed
  7. Kej
    • Positive: Balanced, Strong
    • Negative: Stubborn, Demanding
  8. Q'anil
    • Positive: Fertile, Joyful
    • Negative: Rotten, Overindulgent
  9. Toj
    • Positive: Generous, Just
    • Negative: Self-sacrificing, Pain
  10. Tz'i
    • Positive: Faithful, Guide
    • Negative: Betrayal, Shame
  11. B'atz
    • Positive: Creative, Artistic
    • Negative: Entanglement, Unfocused
  12. E
    • Positive: Explorer, Path Finder
    • Negative: Restless, Depression
  13. Aj
    • Positive: Leader, Transforming
    • Negative: Cynical, Incomplete
  14. I'x
    • Positive: Magical, Intuitive
    • Negative: Secretive, Manipulative
  15. Tz'ikin
    • Positive: Prosperous, Visionary
    • Negative: Disturbing, Madness
  16. Ajmaq
    • Positive: Forgiving, Thoughtful
    • Negative: Failure, Blindness
  17. Noj
    • Positive: Logical, Innovative
    • Negative: Over-analytical, Obsessed
  18. Tijax
    • Positive: Healing, Decisive
    • Negative: Confrontational, Destructive
  19. Kawuq
    • Positive: Community-oriented, Nurturing
    • Negative: Chaotic, Gossip
  20. Junajpu
    • Positive: Noble, Attractive
    • Negative: Arrogant, Fear



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Cultural Preservation and Adaptation: The traditional K'iche' Maya Calendar is not a relic of the past but a living testament to the resilience of the Maya culture. Its current use defies centuries of colonization and cultural disruption, with K'iche' communities today still relying on daykeepers, known as Ajq'ijab', to interpret its rhythms and advise on everything from agricultural cycles to ceremonial occasions.

Conclusion: The K'iche' Maya Calendar remains a vibrant force in the highlands of Guatemala, its beat synchronous with the heartbeat of K'iche' communities. It stands as a proud testament to the Maya's enduring connection to time, nature, and the cosmos. For the K'iche', every dawn is a new page in an ancient almanac, and every nightfall, a closing verse in the ongoing epic of their people.

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