Two calendars coexist in Morocco: the universal or Gregorian (year 2009) governed by the sun and the Muslim or Islamic calendar (year 1429-1430). The first calendar (the universal) governs the country’s administrative and productive life, while the second calendar (the Islamic) governs the religious life. (See ISLAMIC /GREGORIAN CALENDAR)
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. It is based on 30 years lunar cycles (360 moon sightings, from Sumerian tradition). The 30 year cycles are divided in 19 years of 354 days and 11 years of 355 days. The years with 354 days are called simple years and are divided into 6 months with 30 days and another 6 months with 29 days . The years with 355 days are called intercalary and are divided into seven months with 30 days and another 5 months with 29 days .Years and months alternate. That is, 33 Muslim years are equivalent to 32 Christian years. The intercalations are done by adding a day at the end of the month of dul-hiyya in the years 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 26th and 29th of each cycle of 30 years.
The origin of this calendar is the beginning of the Hijra, which in the Gregorian calendar would correspond to 16th July 622.
The days of the week are seven:
The months are 12:
The day begins with the sunset, and the month begins a few days after the full moon, when the crescent moon is appearing.
If we consider the difference of days between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, and the fact that the year begins on different dates, we will realize of the difficulty of establishing a match between the Muslin calendar and the Christian calendar. There are tables to match years, but for a quick and approximate estimation we can use the following method:
To pass from Muslim to Christian G=H+622-(H/33)
To pass from Christian to Muslim H=G-622+(G-622)31
Where: G = Christian year (Gregorian) H=Muslim year (Hijra)
This method can help us to establish an approximate match between the Muslim and the Christian years. To establish a match of a concrete date is almost impossible, and even the historians admit an error of a day more or less. The reason for this phase difference is because the beginning and the end of each month is ruled according to the observable lunar cycle, and this introduces one more day when the observations do not match the theoretical estimation.
It is the same calendar used in the west and it contains 9 National Feasts: