First of April …the start of Syrian calendar for ancient civilizations

The First of April is the Syrian New Year’s Day as the Syrian calendar is considered one of the ancient one that is still celebrated up till now.

This year marks the beginning of the year 6773 of the ancient agriculture calendar where the ancient Syrian year (Nisanu) in the Canaanite and Aramaic languages began on the first of April.

Eyad Younes , a doctor in archeology and ancient languages at the University of Damascus, said that the Calendar continued to exist in successive Syrian civilizations, including kingdoms of Ugarit, Ebla, Mari, Palmyra, and Damascus, and it was later transferred with the Arabs to Andalusia.

He added that the celebrations of the arrival of spring began in the day of the vernal equinox and continued until the first day of April, the Syrian New Year’s Day, and is associated with the celebration at the end of raining season and the start of fertility and the growth of crops and fruits, as the celebration were accompanied with religious rituals, in which offerings were made.

Younes noted that the Syrian calendar related to Ishtar, First Mother Goddess, Goddess of life, and the Morning and Evening Star at the same time, where the ancient texts described it as “in her mouth lies the secret of life’

?This day was called Akitu” in Sumerian, and “Akiti Sununum, according to Younes.

He noted that the antiquities which were discovered in Syria and Iraq refer that the first festival for Akitu in history began on the form of agricultural harvest day which was celebrated twice a year, the first one is in April month, and the second in October.

Younes concluded that the ancient Syrian festivals are cultural and social values, and the celebration in Syrian New Year Day, Akitu, is considered an important event in an indication to a new awareness of the Syrian people to rediscover those unknown stages of their history.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency