The Balinese Calendar of Mathematical Madness
The basic idea of a calendar is pretty simple: days follow the Earth's rotation, months follow the moon's cycle, and years follow the Earth's path around the sun. It all lines up in a nice, uncomplicated progression: Thor's Day leads to Freya's Day leads to Saturn's Day leads to Sun's Day, just the way Cthulhu intended. What more could you ask for?
Lars Zahner Photography/Photos.com
Decades based on fingers, months matching your menses? Got that, too!
Well, if you live in Bali or Java in Indonesia, apparently you can ask for a lot, and receive even more than you can handle. Their calendar is what chaos theorists masturbate to. Here's what a single calendar day looks like:
Is that math up in the corner?
Each and every day in the traditional Balinese Pawukon calendar is the result of a ridiculously convoluted mathematical process. Instead of a simple week cycle of seven days, the Pawukon runs 10 different week cycles, all at the same time. The length of these weeks can be anywhere from one to 10 days, and they constantly overlap each other, because fuck your concept of time. The closest thing Pawukon has to a year is a period that lasts for 420 days, which is divided into two Pawukon cycles.
To recap: Every 420-day year consists of two 210-day Pawukon cycles with 10 different week systems running at the same time, and each day has up to 10 different names. Oh, and every day is also a week all by itself, except when it's not. This is, of course, defined by complex math equations.
John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Clearly, days in a year weren't the only 420 involved in the design of this thing.