Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Super Bowl



The Super Bowl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season, while Super Bowl XLVII, which will determine the champion of the current 2012 season, will be played on February 3, 2013.

The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues' champion teams would play in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was redesignated as a "conference", and the game was then played between the conference champions. Currently, the National Football Conference (NFC) leads the series with 25 wins to 21 wins for the American Football Conference (AFC).

The day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some a de facto American national holiday,[1][2] is called "Super Bowl Sunday". It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day.[3] In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most watched American television broadcastof the year. Super Bowl XLV, played in 2011, became the most-watched American television program in history, drawing an average audience of 111 million viewers and taking over the spot held by the previous year's Super Bowl, which itself had taken over the #1 spot held for twenty-eight years by the final episode ofM*A*S*H.[4] The Super Bowl is also among the most watched sporting events in the world, mostly due to North American audiences, and is second to association football (soccer)’s UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide.[5]

Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year. Due to the high cost of investing in advertising on the Super Bowl, companies regularly develop their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast's commercials has become a significant aspect of the event.[6] In addition, many popular singers and musicians have performed during the event's pre-game and halftime ceremonies because of the exposure.

Origin
For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL successfully fended off several rival leagues. However, in 1960, it encountered its most serious competitor when the American Football League (AFL) was formed. The AFL vied heavily with the NFL for both players and fans, but by the middle of the decade the strain of competition led to serious merger talks between the two leagues. Prior to the 1966 season, the NFL and AFL reached a merger agreement that was to take effect for the 1970 season. As part of the merger, the champions of the two leagues agreed to meet in a "world" championship game for professional American football until the merger was effected.

Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, first used the term "Super Bowl"[7] to refer to this game in the merger meetings. Hunt would later say the name was likely in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy (a vintage example of the ball is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio). In a July 25, 1966, letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt wrote, "I have kiddingly called it the 'Super Bowl,' which obviously can be improved upon." Although the leagues' owners decided on the name "AFL-NFL Championship Game," the media immediately picked up on Hunt's "Super Bowl" name, which would become official beginning with the third annual game.[8]

The "Super Bowl" name was derived from the bowl game, a post-season college football game. The original "bowl game" was the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, which was first played in 1902 as the "Tournament East-West football game" as part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and moved to the new Rose Bowl Stadium in 1923. The stadium got its name from the fact that the game played there was part of the Tournament of Roses and that it was shaped like a bowl, much like the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut; the Tournament of Roses football game itself eventually came to be known as the Rose Bowl Game. Exploiting the Rose Bowl Game's popularity, post-season college football contests were created for Miami (the Orange Bowl) and New Orleans (the Sugar Bowl) in 1935, and forDallas (the Cotton Bowl) in 1937. Thus, by the time the first Super Bowl was played, the term "bowl" for any big-time American football game was well established.

After the NFL's Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with their NFL counterparts, though that perception changed when the AFL's New York Jets defeated the NFL's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. One year later, the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans, which was the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game played before the merger. Beginning with the 1970 season, the NFL realigned into two conferences; the former AFL teams plus three NFL teams (the Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns) would constitute the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining NFL clubs would form the National Football Conference (NFC). The champions of the two conferences would play each other in the Super Bowl.

The game is played annually on a Sunday as the final game of the NFL Playoffs. Originally, the game took place in early to mid-January, following a fourteen-game regular season and two rounds of playoffs. Over the years, the date of the Super Bowl has progressed from the second Sunday in January, to the third, then the fourth Sunday in January; the game is currently played on the first Sunday in February, given the current seventeen-week (sixteen games and one bye week) regular season and three rounds of playoffs. Also, February is television's "sweeps" month, thus affording the television network carrying the game an immense opportunity to pad its viewership when negotiating for advertising revenue. 

The progression of the dates of the Super Bowl was caused by several factors: the expansion of the NFL's regular season in 1978 from fourteen games to sixteen; the expansion of the pre-Super Bowl playoff field from six teams (two AFL and four NFL) prior to the merger, to eight in the 1970-71 season, then to ten in 1978-79, and finally twelve in 1990-91, necessitating the addition of additional rounds of playoffs; the addition of the regular season bye-week in the 1990s; and the decision to start the regular season the week following Labor Day.

The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and three of the five preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following his death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and was first awarded as such to the Baltimore Colts following their win in Super Bowl V in Miami.

Game history

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowls, the most of any team; the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have five victories each; and both the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants have four Super Bowls championships. Thirteen other NFL franchises have won at least one Super Bowl. Ten teams have appeared in Super Bowl games without a win. The Minnesota Vikings were the first team to have lost a record four times without a win. The Buffalo Bills played in a record four Super Bowls in a row, and lost every one. Four teams (the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, andHouston Texans) have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The Browns and Lions both won NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl's creation, while the Jaguars (1995) and Texans (2002) are both recent NFL expansion teams. The Minnesota Vikings won the last NFL Championship before the merger, but lost to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.

1960s: Early history

The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders following the 1966 and 1967 seasons, respectively. The Packers were led by quarterback Bart Starr, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for both games. These two championships, coupled with the Packers' NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965, amount to the most successful stretch in NFL History; five championships in seven years. As owners of arguably the only true NFL dynasty, Green Bay, Wisconsin has been named Titletown, USA." [9][10]

In Super Bowl III, the AFL's New York Jets defeated the eighteen-point favorite Baltimore Colts of the NFL, 16–7. The Jets were led by quarterback Joe Namath (who had famously guaranteed a Jets win prior to the game) and former Colts head coach Weeb Ewbank, and their victory proved that the AFL was the NFL's competitive equal. This was reinforced the following year, when the AFL's Kansas City Chiefsdefeated the NFL's Minnesota Vikings 23–7 in Super Bowl IV.

1970s: Dominant franchises

After the AFL-NFL merger was completed in 1970, three franchises – the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers – would go on to dominate the 1970s, winning a combined eight Super Bowls in the decade.

The Baltimore Colts, now a member of the AFC, would start the decade by defeating the Cowboys in Super Bowl V, a game which is notable as being the only Super Bowl to date in which a player from the losing team won the MVP award (Cowboys' linebacker Chuck Howley).

The Cowboys, coming back from a loss the previous season, won Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins. However, this would be the Dolphins' final loss in over a year, as the next year, the Dolphins would go 14–0 in the regular season, and cap it off with a victory in Super Bowl VII, becoming the first and only team to finish an entire regular season and post season perfect. The Dolphins would win Super Bowl VIII a year later.

In the late 1970s, the Steelers became the first NFL dynasty of the post-merger era by winning four super bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) in six years. They were led by head coach Chuck Noll, the play of offensive stars Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster, and their dominant "Steel Curtain" defense, led by "Mean" Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, Mel Blount,Jack Ham, and Jack Lambert. The coaches and administrators also were part of the dynasty's greatness as evidenced by the team's "final pieces" being part of the famous 1974 draft. 

The selections in that class have been considered the best by any pro franchise ever, as Pittsburgh selected four future Hall of Famers, the most for any team in any sport in a single draft. The Steelers were the first team to win three and then four Super Bowls and appeared in six AFC Championship Games during the decade, making the playoffs in eight straight seasons. Nine players and three coaches and administrators on the team have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pittsburgh still remains the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice and four Super Bowls in a six-year period.

The Steelers' dynasty was interrupted only by the Cowboys winning their second Super Bowl of the decade, and the Oakland Raiders' Super Bowl XI win.

1980s and 1990s: The NFC's winning streak

In the 1980s and 1990s, the tables turned for the AFC, as the NFC dominated the Super Bowls of the new decade and most of those of the 1990s. The NFC won 16 of the 20 Super Bowls during these two decades, including 13 straight from Super Bowl XIX to Super Bowl XXXI.

The most successful franchise of the 1980s was the San Francisco 49ers, which featured the West Coast offense of head coach Bill Walsh. This offense was led by three-time Super Bowl MVP quarterbackJoe Montana, Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Jerry Rice, and tight end Brent Jones. Under their leadership, the 49ers won four Super Bowls in the decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV) and made nine playoff appearances between 1981 and 1990, including eight division championships, becoming the second dynasty of the post-merger NFL. 

The 1980s also produced the 1985 Chicago Bears, who posted an 18–1 record under head coach Mike Ditka, colorful quarterback Jim McMahon, and Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton and won Super Bowl XX in dominating fashion. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were also top teams of this period; the Redskins won Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. The Giants claimed Super Bowls XXI and XXV. As in the 1970s, the Oakland Raiders were the only team to interrupt the Super Bowl dominance of other teams; they won Super Bowls XV and XVIII (the latter as the Los Angeles Raiders).

Following several seasons with poor records in 1980s, the Dallas Cowboys rose back to prominence in the 1990s. During this decade, the Cowboys made post season appearances every year except for the seasons of 1990 and 1997. From 1992 to 1996, the Cowboys won their division championship each year. In this same period, the Buffalo Bills had made their mark reaching the Super Bowl for 4 consecutive years, only to lose in all of them. After Super Bowl championships by division rivals New York (1990) and Washington (1992), the Cowboys won three of the next four Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX) led by quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin. The Cowboy's streak was interrupted by the 49ers, who won their league-leading fifth title overall with Super Bowl XXIX; however, the Cowboys' victory in Super Bowl XXX the next year also gave them five titles overall. The NFC's winning streak was continued by the Green Bay Packers who, under quarterback Brett Favre, wonSuper Bowl XXXI, their first championship since Super Bowl II in the late 1960s.

1997-2008: AFC resurgence

During this period, the Denver Broncos ended the NFC's long Super Bowl streak and started a stretch of its own in which AFC teams won 9 out of 12 Super Bowls. The remainder were won between the Broncos, Steelers, and Colts. In the years between 2001 and 2011, three teams – the Patriots, Steelers, and Colts – accounted for ten of the AFC Super Bowl appearances, with those same teams often meeting each other earlier in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the NFC saw a different representative in the Super Bowl every season from 2001 through 2010.

Super Bowl XXXII saw quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis lead the Denver Broncos to an upset victory over the defending champion Packers, snapping the NFC's winning streak and starting a streak in which AFC teams would win eight of the next ten Super Bowls. This marked Elway's first Super Bowl championship in four attempts. The Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the following Super Bowl, which would be Elway's final game. The surprising St. Louis Rams would close out the 1990s by logging an NFC win in Super Bowl XXXIV.

The New England Patriots became the dominant team throughout the early 2000s, winning the championship three out of four years early in the decade. They would become only the second team in the history of the NFL to do so (after the 1990s Dallas Cowboys). In Super Bowl XXXVI, first-year starting quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 20–17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams. Brady would go on to win the MVP award for this game The Patriots also won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX defeating the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles respectively. This four-year stretch of Patriot dominance was only interrupted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl XXXVII title.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts continued the era of AFC dominance by winning Super Bowls XL and XLI. Two years later the Steelers won an NFL record sixth Super Bowl championship inSuper Bowl XLIII.

In the 2007 season, the Patriots came back by becoming the first team in NFL history to have a 16–0 record in the regular season. They easily marched through the AFC playoffs and were heavy favorites inSuper Bowl XLII. However, they lost that game to the New York Giants 17–14, in large part due to a play that would become known as the Helmet Catch, in which Giants receiver David Tyree caught an Eli Manning pass by securing it against the side of his helmet. This pass would set up the eventual game-winning touchdown.

2009-Present: NFC turnaround

NFC teams won four of five Super Bowls in the late 2000s and early 2010s. The Giants won two championships (XLII as described above and XLVI also over the Patriots) in this period. Between these titles, theNew Orleans Saints won their first title and the Green Bay Packers won their fourth Super Bowl and record 13th NFL championship overall.

The Super Bowls of the late 2000s and early 2010s are marked by the performances of the several of the winning quarterbacks. Peyton Manning, Eli Manning twice, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers all added championships and Super Bowl MVP awards to their lists of individual accomplishments.

Television coverage and ratings

For many years, the Super Bowl has possessed a large US and global television viewership, and it is often the most watched television program of the year. The game tends to have high Nielsen television ratings, which is usually around a 40 rating and 60 share. This means that on average, 80 to 90 million people from the United States are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment.

In press releases preceding each year's event, the NFL typically claims that that year's Super Bowl will have a potential worldwide audience of around one billion people in over 200 countries.[11] This figure refers to the number of people able to watch the game, not the number of people actually watching. However the statements have been frequently misinterpreted in various media as referring to the latter figure, leading to a common misperception about the game's actual global audience.[12][13] The New York-based media research firm Initiative measured the global audience for the 2005 Super Bowl at 93 million people, with 98 percent of that figure being viewers in North America, which meant roughly 2 million people outside North America watched the Super Bowl that year.[12]

2012's Super Bowl XLVI holds the record for total number of U.S. viewers, attracting an average U.S. audience of over 111 million and an estimated total audience of nearly 167 million, making the game the most-viewed television broadcast of any kind in American history.[14]

The highest-rated game according to Nielsen was Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was watched in 49.1 percent of households (73 share), or 40,020,000 households at the time. Ratings for that game, a San Francisco victory over Cincinnati, may have been aided by a large blizzard that had affected much of the northeastern United States on game day, leaving residents to stay at home more than usual. Also, because network television was still the predominant means of viewership and pay television services (cable, and later satellite) were still relatively unavailable, there were not many choices of things to watch on television.[citation needed] Super Bowl XVI still ranks fourth on Nielsen's list of top-rated programs of all time, and three other Super Bowls, XII, XVII, and XX, made the top ten.[15]

Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser "Bud Bowl" campaign and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased every year, with advertisers paying as much as $3.5 million for a thirty-second spot during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.[16] A segment of the audience tunes in to the Super Bowl solely to view commercials.[6] The Super Bowl halftime show has spawned another set of alternative entertainment such as the Lingerie Bowl, the Beer Bottle Bowl, and other facets of American culture.

Entertainment

Early Super Bowls featured a halftime show consisting of marching bands from local colleges or high schools; but as the popularity of the game increased, a trend where popular singers and musicians performed during its pre-game ceremonies and the halftime show, or simply sang the national anthem of the United States, emerged.[20] Unlike regular season or playoff games, thirty minutes are allocated for the Super Bowl halftime.

The first halftime show to have featured only one star performer was Michael Jackson during Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The NFL specifically went after him to increase viewership and to continue expanding the Super Bowl's reputation.[21] Another notable performance came during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, when U2 performed; during their second song, "Where the Streets Have No Name", the band played under a large projection screen which scrolled through names of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

The halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 generated controversy when Justin Timberlake removed a piece of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her right breast with a star-shaped pastie around the nipple. Timberlake and Jackson have maintained that the incident was accidental, calling it a "wardrobe malfunction". The game was airing live on CBS, and MTV had produced the halftime show. Immediately after the moment, the footage jump-cut to a wide-angle shot and went to a commercial break; however, video captures of the moment in detail circulated quickly on the internet. The NFL, embarrassed by the incident, permanently banned MTV from conducting future halftime shows. 

This also led to the FCC tightening controls on indecency and fining CBS and CBS-owned stations a total of $550,000 for the incident. The fine was later reversed in July 2008. CBS and MTV eventually split into two separate companies in part because of the fiasco,[citation needed] with CBS going under the control of CBS Corporationand MTV falling under the banner of Viacom (although both corporations remain under the ownership of National Amusements).

For six years following the incident, all of the performers in Super Bowl halftime shows were artists associated with the classic rock genre of the 1970s and 1980s (including three acts from the British Invasion of the 1960s), with only one act playing the entire halftime show. Paul McCartney (formerly of The Beatles) played Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, The Rolling Stones played Super Bowl XL in 2006, and The Who played Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. The halftime show returned to a modern act in 2011 with The Black Eyed Peas. But during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, M.I.A. gave the middle finger during a performance of "Give Me All Your Luvin'" with Madonna, which was caught TV cameras. An attempt to censor the gesture by blurring the entire screen came late.[22]

Excluding Super Bowl XXXIX, the famous "I'm going to Disney World!" advertising campaign took place at every Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXI, when quarterback Phil Simms from the New York Giants became the first player to say the tagline. The Walt Disney Company ran the ad several times during the game[which?], showing several players from both teams practicing the catch-phrase.[citation needed]

Venue

26 of 46 Super Bowls have been played in three cities; New Orleans (nine times), the Greater Miami area (ten times), or the Greater Los Angeles area (seven times). Stadiums that do not host an NFL franchise are not, by rule, prohibited from hosting the Super Bowl, and non-NFL stadiums have hosted the game nine times, with the Rose Bowl accounting for five of these. To date, however, no market or region without an NFL franchise has ever hosted a Super Bowl; all five Rose Bowl Super Bowls were hosted before the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders left for St. Louis and Oakland respectively in 1995.

No team has ever played the Super Bowl in its home stadium. The closest have been the San Francisco 49ers who played Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium, rather than Candlestick Park, and the Los Angeles Rams who played Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl, rather than the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In both cases, the stadium in which the Super Bowl was held was perceived to be a better stadium for a large, high-profile event than the stadiums the Rams and 49ers were playing in at the time; this situation has not arisen since 1993, in part because the league has traditionally awarded the Super Bowl in modern times to the newest stadiums. 

Besides those two, the only other Super Bowl venue that was not the home stadium to an NFL team at the time was Rice Stadium in Houston: theHouston Oilers had played there previously, but moved to the Astrodome several years prior to Super Bowl VIII. The Orange Bowl was the only AFL stadium to host a Super Bowl and the only stadium to host consecutive Super Bowls, hosting Super Bowls II and III.

Traditionally, the NFL does not award Super Bowls to stadiums that are located in climates with an expected average daily temperature less than 50°F (10°C) on game day unless the field can be completely covered by a fixed or retractable roof. Four Super Bowls have been played in northern cities: two in the Detroit area—Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdome inPontiac, Michigan and Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit—, one in Minneapolis—Super Bowl XXVI, and one in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium for Super Bowl XLVI. These four stadiums all have a roof. However, despite not having a retractable roof, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey was chosen for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, in an apparent waiver of the warm-climate rule.

There have been a few instances where the league has yanked the Super Bowl from cities. Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 was originally awarded to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, but after Arizona voted to not recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1990, the NFL moved the game to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in protest. After Arizona opted to create the holiday by ballot in 1992, Super Bowl XXX in 1996 was awarded to Tempe. Super Bowl XLIV, slated for February 7, 2010, was withdrawn from New York City's proposed West Side Stadium, because the city, state, and proposed tenants New York Jetscould not agree on funding. Super Bowl XLIV was then eventually awarded to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. And Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 was originally given to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, but after two sales taxes failed to pass at the ballot box, and opposition by local business leaders and politicians increased, Kansas City eventually withdrew its request to host the game.[23]Super Bowl XLIX was then eventually awarded to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Selection process

The location of the Super Bowl is chosen by the NFL well in advance, usually three to five years before the game. Cities place bids to host a Super Bowl and are evaluated in terms of stadium renovation and their ability to host.[24] The NFL owners then meet to make a selection on the site. In 2007, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that a Super Bowl might be played in London, England, perhaps atWembley Stadium.[25] The game has never been played in a region that lacks an NFL franchise; seven Super Bowls have been played in Los Angeles, but none since the Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams relocated to Oakland and St. Louis respectively in 1995.

Home team designation

The designated "home team" alternates between the AFC team in even-numbered games and the NFC team in odd-numbered games.[26][27] This alternation was initiated with the first Super Bowl, when theGreen Bay Packers were the designated home team. Regardless of being the home or away team of record, each team has their team wordmark painted in one of the end zones along with their conference designation. Designated away teams have won 26 of 46 Super Bowls to date (.565).

Since Super Bowl XIII in January 1979, the home team is given the choice of wearing their colored or white jerseys. Formerly, the designated home team was specified to wear their colored jerseys, which resulted in Dallas donning their less familiar dark blue jerseys for Super Bowl V. While most of the home teams in the Super Bowl have chosen to wear their colored jerseys, there have been four exceptions; the Cowboys during Super Bowl XIII and XXVII, the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XVII, and the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XL. The Cowboys, since 1965, and Redskins, since the arrival of coach Joe Gibbs in 1981, have traditionally worn white jerseys at home. Meanwhile, the Steelers, who have always worn their black jerseys at home since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, opted for the white jerseys after winning three consecutive playoff games on the road, wearing white. 

The Steelers' decision was compared with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX; the Patriots had worn white jerseys at home during the 1985 season, but after winning road playoff games against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins wearing red jerseys, New England opted to switch to red for the Super Bowl as the designated home team. White-shirted teams have won 28 of 46 Super Bowls to date (.609).
Super Bowl trademark

The NFL is vigilant on stopping what it says is unauthorized commercial use of its trademarked terms "NFL," "Super Bowl," and "Super Sunday." As a result, many events and promotions tied to the game, but not sanctioned by the NFL, are forced to refer to it with colloquialisms such as "The Big Game," or other generic descriptions.[32] (A radio spot for Planters nuts parodied this, by saying "it would besuper...to have a bowl...of Planters nuts while watching the big game!") The NFL claims that the use of the phrase "Super Bowl" implies an NFL affiliation, and on this basis the league asserts broad rights to restrict how the game may be shown publicly; for example, the league says Super Bowl showings are prohibited in churches or at other events that "promote a message," while venues that do not regularly show sporting events cannot show the Super Bowl on any television screen larger than 55 inches.[33] 

Some critics say the NFL is exaggerating its ownership rights by stating that "any use is prohibited," as this contradicts the broad doctrine of fair use in the United States.[33] Legislation was proposed by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in 2008 "to provide an exemption from exclusive rights in copyright for certain nonprofit organizations to display live football games," and "for other purposes."[34]

In 2006, the NFL made an attempt to trademark "The Big Game" as well; however, it withdrew the application in 2007 due to growing commercial and public-relations opposition to the move, mostly fromStanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and their fans, as the Stanford Cardinal football and California Golden Bears football teams compete in the Big Game, which has been played since 1892 (28 years before the formation of the NFL and 75 years before Super Bowl I).[35] Additionally, the Mega Millions lottery game was known as The Big Game from 1996–2002.

References
1. ^ Belkin, Douglas (January 29, 2004). "Super Bowl underscores cultural divide". The Boston Globe.
2. ^ "Let's make Super Bowl an official holiday".
3. ^ "USDA Offers Food Safety Advice for Your Super Bowl Party".U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
4. ^ Hibberd, James (February 8, 2010). "Super Bowl dethrones 'M*A*S*H,' sets all-time record". The Live Feed.
5. ^ Harris, Nick (January 31, 2010). "Elite clubs on Uefa gravy train as Super Bowl knocked off perch". The Independent (London).
6. ^ a b Commercials as big as game, Florida Today
7. ^ Tinley, Josh (31 January 2012). "‘Super Bowl’ – Why Do We Call It That? Why Roman Numerals?". Midwest Sports Fans. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
8. ^ MacCambridge, Michael. America's Game. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 237.
9. ^ Will, Tracy (1997). Wisconsin. Oakland, California: Compass American Guides. pp. 83. ISBN 1-878867-49-0.
10. ^ "There is no other TitleTown USA".
11. ^ Super Bowl XLI broadcast in 232 countries, NFL press release, February 3, 2007.
12. ^ a b Rushin, Steve (February 6, 2006). "A Billion People Can Be Wrong". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
13. ^ Super Bowl XL to Attract Close to 1 Billion Viewers Worldwide, Voice of America, February 3, 2006
14. ^ "Super Bowl XLVI Breaks Total Viewership Record".
15. ^ "Television's Top-Rated Programs". Nielsen Media Research. April 30, 2000. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
16. ^ "Super Bowl ads cost average of $3.5M". Associated Press. 2/6/2012. Retrieved 2/11/2012.
17. ^ Super Bowl evolves into television extravaganza Pittsburgh Tribune Retrieved May 10, 2011
18. ^ Hibberd, James. "'Wipeout' special set for Super Sunday".The Hollywood Reporter.[dead link]
19. ^ Fryer, Jenna (January 30, 2009). "Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl Promise: "12-Minute Party" At Halftime". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
20. ^ Super Bowl – Entertainment
21. ^ Sandomir, Richard (June 29, 2009). "How Jackson Redefined the Super Bowl". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
22. ^ "M.I.A. flips bird in Super Bowl halftime show". CBS News.
23. ^ Associated Press (May 25, 2006). "No rolling roof, no Super Bowl at Arrowhead". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
24. ^ Pedulla, Tom (September 23, 2003). "N.Y./N.J. Super Bowl in 2008 may not come to pass". USAToday. Retrieved July 28, 2007.
25. ^ ESPN – Goodell says NFL to look into playing Super Bowl in London – NFL, Associated Press, ESPN, 2007-10-15, accessed January 26, 2009
26. ^ "Which jerseys will Bears wear in Super Bowl?". January 22, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2008. "The Bears will be designated as the home team ... in Super Bowl XLI in Miami. The home team alternates every Super Bowl with the NFC representative serving as the home team in odd-numbered years and the away team in even-numbered years."
27. ^ "XLII facts about Super Bowl XLII". January 22, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2008. "The AFC is the home team in this year's Super Bowl [Super Bowl XLII]."
28. ^ Associated Press (May 19, 2009). "New Orleans to host 10th Super Bowl in 2013". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
29. ^ Love, Tim (April 24, 2009). "NFL in talks on London Super Bowl". BBC Sports. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
30. ^ ESPN News (May 3, 2009). "Report: London eyes Super Bowl". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
31. ^ a b Marvez, Alex (May 4, 2009). "All signs point to Favre returning". Fox Sports. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
32. ^ Gardner, Eriq (January 29, 2007). "Super Bowl, Super Trademarks: Protecting the NFL's IP". The Hollywood Reporter, Esq.. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
33. ^ a b Alter, Alexandra (February 2, 2008). "God vs. Gridiron".The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
34. ^ "Church Super Bowl Victory: Senators Hatch & Specter Score Touchdown with NFL Policy". Copyright Queen Blog. February 22, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
35. ^ FitzGerald, Tom (May 23, 2007). "NFL sidelines its pursuit of Big Game trademark". The San Francisco Chronicle.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Is Mayan Calendar?

 

What Is Mayan Calendar? 

 Maya calendar From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Maya calendar is a system of calendars used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in many modern communities in highland Guatemala[1] and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.[2]

The essentials of the Maya calendar are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It shares many aspects with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec and Aztec calendars.[3] Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood

By the Maya mythological tradition, as documented in Colonial Yucatec accounts and reconstructed from Late Classic and Postclassic inscriptions, the deity Itzamna is frequently credited with bringing the knowledge of the calendar system to the ancestral Maya, along with writing in general and other foundational aspects of Maya culture.[4]


Overview

The Maya calendar consists of several cycles or counts of different lengths. The 260-day count is known to scholars as the Tzolkin, or Tzolk'in.[5] The Tzolkin was combined with a 365-day vague solar year known as the Haab' to form a synchronized cycle lasting for 52 Haab', called the Calendar Round. Smaller cycles of 13 days, the trecena, and 20 days, the veintena, were important components both cycles. The Calendar Round is still in use by many groups in the Guatemalan highlands.[6]

A different calendar was used to track longer periods of time, and for the inscription of calendar dates (i.e., identifying when one event occurred in relation to others). This is the Long Count. It is a count of days since a mythological starting-point.[7] According to the correlation between the Long Count and Western calendars accepted by the great majority of Maya researchers (known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson, or GMT, correlation), this starting-point is equivalent to August 11, 3114 BCE in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or 6 September in the Julian calendar (−3113 astronomical). The GMT correlation was chosen by John Eric Sydney Thompson in 1935 on the basis of earlier correlations by Joseph Goodman in 1905 (August 11), Juan Martínez Hernández in 1926 (August 12), and Thompson himself in 1927 (August 13).[8][9] By its linear nature, the Long Count was capable of being extended to refer to any date far into the past or future. 

This calendar involved the use of a positional notation system, in which each position signified an increasing multiple of the number of days. The Maya numeral system was essentially vigesimal (i.e., base-20), and each unit of a given position represented 20 times the unit of the position which preceded it. An important exception was made for the second-order place value, which instead represented 18 × 20, or 360 days, more closely approximating the solar year than would 20 × 20 = 400 days. It should be noted however that the cycles of the Long Count are independent of the solar year.

Many Maya Long Count inscriptions contain a supplementary series, which provides information on the lunar phase, number of the current lunation in a series of six and which of the nine Lords of the Night rules.

A 584-day Venus cycle was also maintained, which tracked the heliacal risings of Venus as the morning and evening stars. Many events in this cycle were seen as being astrologically inauspicious and baleful, and occasionally warfare was astrologically timed to coincide with stages in this cycle.

Less-prevalent or poorly understood cycles, combinations and calendar progressions were also tracked. An 819-day Count is attested in a few inscriptions. Repeating sets of 9-day (see below "Nine lords of the night")[10] associated with different groups of deities, animals, and other significant concepts are also known.
Maya concepts of time

With the development of the place-notational Long Count calendar (believed to have been inherited from other Mesoamerican cultures), the Maya had an elegant system with which events could be recorded in a linear relationship to one another, and also with respect to the calendar ("linear time") itself. In theory, this system could readily be extended to delineate any length of time desired, by simply adding to the number of higher-order place markers used (and thereby generating an ever-increasing sequence of day-multiples, each day in the sequence uniquely identified by its Long Count number). 

In practice, most Maya Long Count inscriptions confine themselves to noting only the first five coefficients in this system (a b'ak'tun-count), since this was more than adequate to express any historical or current date (20 b'ak'tuns cover 7,885 solar years). Even so, example inscriptions exist which noted or implied lengthier sequences, indicating that the Maya well understood a linear (past-present-future) conception of time.

However, and in common with other Mesoamerican societies, the repetition of the various calendric cycles, the natural cycles of observable phenomena, and the recurrence and renewal of death-rebirth imagery in their mythological traditions were important influences upon Maya societies. This conceptual view, in which the "cyclical nature" of time is highlighted, was a pre-eminent one, and many rituals were concerned with the completion and re-occurrences of various cycles.

As the particular calendric configurations were once again repeated, so too were the "supernatural" influences with which they were associated. Thus it was held that particular calendar configurations had a specific "character" to them, which would influence events on days exhibiting that configuration. Divinations could then be made from the auguries associated with a certain configuration, since events taking place on some future date would be subject to the same influences as its corresponding previous cycle dates. Events and ceremonies would be timed to coincide with auspicious dates, and avoid inauspicious ones.[11]

The completion of significant calendar cycles ("period endings"), such as a k'atun-cycle, were often marked by the erection and dedication of specific monuments (mostly stela inscriptions, but sometimes twin-pyramid complexes such as those in Tikal and Yaxha), commemorating the completion, accompanied by dedicatory ceremonies.
A cyclical interpretation is also noted in Maya creation accounts, in which the present world and the humans in it were preceded by other worlds (one to five others, depending on the tradition) which were fashioned in various forms by the gods, but subsequently destroyed. The present world also had a tenuous existence, requiring the supplication and offerings of periodic sacrifice to maintain the balance of continuing existence. Similar themes are found in the creation accounts of other Mesoamerican societies.[12]


Tzolk'in

The tzolk'in (in modern Maya orthography; also commonly written tzolkin) is the name commonly employed by Mayanist researchers for the Maya Sacred Round or 260-day calendar. The word tzolk'in is a neologism coined in Yucatec Maya, to mean "count of days" (Coe 1992). The various names of this calendar as used by precolumbian Maya peoples are still debated by scholars. The Aztec calendar equivalent was called Tonalpohualli, in the Nahuatl language.

The tzolk'in calendar combines twenty day names with the thirteen numbers of the trecena cycle to produce 260 unique days. It is used to determine the time of religious and ceremonial events and for divination. Each successive day is numbered from 1 up to 13 and then starting again at 1. Separately from this, every day is given a name in sequence from a list of 20 day names:



Some systems started the count with 1 Imix', followed by 2 Ik', 3 Ak'b'al, etc. up to 13 B'en. The trecena day numbers then start again at 1 while the named-day sequence continues onwards, so the next days in the sequence are 1 Ix, 2 Men, 3 K'ib', 4 Kab'an, 5 Etz'nab', 6 Kawak, and 7 Ajaw. With all twenty named days used, these now began to repeat the cycle while the number sequence continues, so the next day after 7 Ajaw is 8 Imix'. The repetition of these interlocking 13- and 20-day cycles therefore takes 260 days to complete (that is, for every possible combination of number/named day to occur once).
Origin of the Tzolk'in

The exact origin of the Tzolk'in is not known, but there are several theories.

One theory is that the calendar came from mathematical operations based on the numbers thirteen and twenty, which were important numbers to the Maya. The numbers multiplied together equal 260

Another theory is that the 260-day period came from the length of human pregnancy. This is close to the average number of days between the first missed menstrual period and birth, unlike Naegele's rule which is 40 weeks (280 days) between the last menstrual period and birth. It is postulated that midwives originally developed the calendar to predict babies' expected birth dates. The deity Ix Chel is thus of particular interest due to her mythic relation to the calendar.

A third theory comes from understanding of astronomy, geography and archaeology. The mesoamerican calendar probably originated with the Olmecs, and a settlement existed at Izapa, in southeast Chiapas Mexico, before 1200 BC. There, at a latitude of about 15° N, the Sun passes through zenith twice a year, and there are 260 days between zenithal passages, and gnomons (used generally for observing the path of the Sun and in particular zenithal passages), were found at this and other sites.[14]

A fourth theory is that the calendar is based on the crops. From planting to harvest is approximately 260 days


Haab'


The Haab' was the Maya solar calendar made up of eighteen months of twenty days each plus a period of five days ("nameless days") at the end of the year known as Wayeb' (or Uayeb in 16th C. orthography). The five days of Wayeb', were thought to be a dangerous time. Foster (2002) writes, "During Wayeb, portals between the mortal realm and the Underworld dissolved. No boundaries prevented the ill-intending deities from causing disasters." To ward off these evil spirits, the Maya had customs and rituals they practiced during Wayeb'. For example, people avoided leaving their houses and washing or combing their hair. Bricker (1982) estimates that the Haab' was first used around 550 BC with a starting point of the winter solstice.[16]

The Haab' month names are known today by their corresponding names in colonial-era Yukatek Maya, as transcribed by 16th century sources (in particular, Diego de Landa and books such as the Chilam Balam of Chumayel). Phonemic analyses of Haab' glyph names in pre-Columbian Maya inscriptions have demonstrated that the names for these twenty-day periods varied considerably from region to region and from period to period, reflecting differences in the base language(s) and usage in the Classic and Postclassic eras predating their recording by Spanish sources.[17]

Each day in the Haab' calendar was identified by a day number in the month followed by the name of the month. Day numbers began with a glyph translated as the "seating of" a named month, which is usually regarded as day 0 of that month, although a minority treat it as day 20 of the month preceding the named month. In the latter case, the seating of Pop is day 5 of Wayeb'. For the majority, the first day of the year was 0 Pop (the seating of Pop). This was followed by 1 Pop, 2 Pop as far as 19 Pop then 0 Wo, 1 Wo and so on.

As a calendar for keeping track of the seasons, the Haab' was a bit inaccurate, since it treated the year as having exactly 365 days, and ignored the extra quarter day (approximately) in the actual tropical year. This meant that the seasons moved with respect to the calendar year by a quarter day each year, so that the calendar months named after particular seasons no longer corresponded to these seasons after a few centuries. The Haab' is equivalent to the wandering 365-day year of the ancient Egyptians.
Calendar Round

A Calendar Round date is a date that gives both the Tzolk'in and Haab'. This date will repeat after 52 Haab' years or 18,980 days, a Calendar Round. For example, the current creation started on 4 Ahau 8 Kumk'u. When this date recurs it is known as a Calendar Round completion.

Arithmetically, the duration of the Calendar Round can be explained in various ways. One way is to consider that the least common multiple of 260 and 365 is 18980 (73 X 260 Tzolk’in days equalling 52 X 365 Haab’ days).[18]

Not every possible combination of Tzolk'in and Haab' can occur. For Tzolk'in days Imix, Kimi, Chwen and Kib', the Haab' day can only be 4, 9, 14 or 19; for Ik', Manik', Eb' and Kab'an, the Haab' day can only be 0, 5, 10 or 15; for Akb'al', Lamat, B'en and Etz'nab', the Haab' day can only be 1, 6, 11 or 16; for K'an, Muluk, Ix and Kawak, the Haab' day can only be 2, 7, 12 or 17; and for Chikchan, Ok, Men and Ajaw, the Haab' day can only be 3, 8, 13 or 18.

Year Bearer

A "Year Bearer" is a Tzolk'in day name that occurs on the first day of the Haab'. If the first day of the Haab' is 0 Pop, then each 0 Pop will coincide with a Tzolk'in date, for example, 1 Ik'  0 Pop. Since there are twenty Tzolk'in day names and the Haab' year has 365 days (20*18 + 5), the Tzolk'in name for each succeeding Haab' zero day will be incremented by 5 in the cycle of day names like this:
1 Ik'   0 Pop
2 Manik'   0 Pop
3 Eb'   0 Pop
4 Kab'an   0 Pop
5 Ik'   0 Pop...

Only these four of the Tzolk'in day names can coincide with 0 Pop, and these four are called the "Year Bearers".

"Year Bearer" literally translates a Mayan concept.[19] Its importance resides in two facts. For one, the four years headed by the Year Bearers are named after them and share their characteristics; therefore, they also have their own prognostications and patron deities.[20] Moreover, since the Year Bearers are geographically identified with boundary markers or mountains, they help define the local community.[21]
The classic system of Year Bearers described above is found at Tikal and in the Dresden Codex. During the Late Classic period a different set of Year Bearers was in use in Campeche. In this system, the Year Bearers were the Tzolk'in that coincided with 1 Pop. 

These were Ak'b'al, Lamat, B'en and Edz'nab. During the Post-Classic period in Yucatán a third system was in use. In this system the Year Bearers were the days that coincided with 2 Pop: K'an, Muluc, Ix and Kawak. This system is found in the Chronicle of Oxkutzcab. In addition, just before the Spanish conquest in Mayapan the Maya began to number the days of the Haab' from 1 to 20. In this system the Year Bearers are the same as in the 1 Pop - Campeche system. The Classic Year Bearer system is still in use in the Guatemalan highlands[22] and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.[23]


Long Count


Since Calendar Round dates repeat every 18,980 days, approximately 52 solar years, the cycle repeats roughly once each lifetime, so a more refined method of dating was needed if history was to be recorded accurately. To specify dates over periods longer than 52 years, Mesoamericans used the Long Count calendar.

The Maya name for a day was k'in. Twenty of these k'ins are known as a winal or uinal. Eighteen winals make one tun. Twenty tuns are known as a k'atun. Twenty k'atuns make a b'ak'tun.

The Long Count calendar identifies a date by counting the number of days from the Mayan creation date 4 Ahaw, 8 Kumk'u (August 11, 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or September 6 in the Julian calendar). But instead of using a base-10 (decimal) scheme like Western numbering, the Long Count days were tallied in a modified base-20 scheme. Thus 0.0.0.1.5 is equal to 25, and 0.0.0.2.0 is equal to 40. As the winal unit resets after only counting to 18, the Long Count consistently uses base-20 only if the tun is considered the primary unit of measurement, not the k'in; with the k'in and winal units being the number of days in the tun. The Long Count 0.0.1.0.0 represents 360 days, rather than the 400 in a purely base-20 (vigesimal) count.

There are also four rarely used higher-order cycles: piktun, kalabtun, k'inchiltun, and alautun.
Since the Long Count dates are unambiguous, the Long Count was particularly well suited to use on monuments. The monumental inscriptions would not only include the 5 digits of the Long Count, but would also include the two tzolk'in characters followed by the two haab' characters.

Misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is the basis for a popular belief that a cataclysm will take place on December 21, 2012. December 21, 2012 is simply the day that the calendar will go to the next b'ak'tun, at Long Count 13.0.0.0.0. The date on which the calendar will go to the next piktun (a complete series of 20 b'ak'tuns), at Long Count 1.0.0.0.0.0, will be on October 13, 4772.

Sandra Noble, executive director of the Mesoamerican research organization Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI), notes that "for the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle". She considers the portrayal of December 2012 as a doomsday or cosmic-shift event to be "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."[24]



Supplementary Series

Many Classic period inscriptions include a series of glyphs known as the Supplementary Series. The operation of this series was largely worked out by John E. Teeple (1874–1931). The Supplementary Series most commonly consists of the following elements:

Lords of the Night

Each night was ruled by one of the nine lords of the underworld. This nine day-cycle was usually written as two glyphs: a glyph that referred to the Nine Lords as a group, followed by a glyph for the lord that would rule the next night.

Lunar Series

A lunar Series generally is written as five glyphs that provide information about the current lunation, the number of the lunation in a series of six, the current ruling lunar deity and the length of the current lunation.

Moon age

The Maya counted the number of days in the current lunation. They used two systems for the zero date of the lunar cycle: either the first night they could see the thin crescent moon or the first morning when they could not see the waning moon.[25] The age of the moon was depicted by a set of glyphs that mayanists coined glyphs D and E:

A new moon glyph was used for day zero in the lunar cycle.

D glyphs were used for lunar ages for days 1 through 19, with the number of days that had passed from the new moon accompanied by a glyph that resembled a hand

For lunar ages 20 to 30, an E glyph was used, with the number of days from 20.

Lunation number and lunar deity

The Maya counted the lunation in a cycle of six, numbered zero through 5. Each one was ruled by one of the six Lunar Deities. This was written as two glyphs: a glyph for the completed lunation in the lunar count with a coefficient of 0 through 5 and a glyph for the lunar deity that ruled the current lunation. Teeple found that Quirigua Stela E (9.17.0.0.0) is lunar deity 2 and that most other inscriptions use this same moon number. It is an interesting date because it was a k'atun completion and a solar eclipse was visible in the Maya area two days later on the first unlucky day of Wayeb'.

Lunation length

The length of the lunar month is 29.53059 days so if you count the number of days in a lunation it will be either 29 or 30 days. The maya wrote whether the lunar month was 29 or 30 days as two glyphs: a glyph for lunation length followed by either a glyph made up of a moon glyph over a bundle with a suffix of 19 for a 29 day lunation or a moon glyph with a suffix of 10 for a 30 day lunation.
Short Count

In the kingdoms of Postclassic Yucatán, the linear Long Count notation fell into disuse and gave way to a cyclical Short Count of 13 k'atuns (or 260 tuns), in which each k'atun was named after its concluding day, Ahau ('Lord'). 1 Imix was selected as the recurrent 'first day' of the cycle, corresponding to 1 Cipactli in the Aztec day count. The cycle was counted from katun 11 Ahau to katun 13 Ahau, with the coefficients of the katuns' concluding days running in the order 11 – 9 – 7 – 5 – 3 – 1 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 – 13 Ahau (since a division of 20 × 360 days by 13 falls 2 days short). The concluding day 13 Ahau was followed by the re-entering first day 1 Imix. This is the system as found in the colonial Books of Chilam Balam. In characteristic Mesoamerican fashion, these books project the cycle onto the landscape, with 13 Ahauob 'Lordships' dividing the land of Yucatán into 13 'kingdoms'.

Venus cycle

Another important calendar for the Maya was the Venus cycle. The Maya kings had skilled astronomers who could calculate the Venus cycle with great accuracy. There are six pages in the Postclassic Dresden Codex devoted to the accurate calculation of the heliacal rising of Venus. The Maya were able to achieve such accuracy by careful observation over many years. 

Venus was often referred to as both "The Morning Star" and "The Evening Star" because of its visibility during both times. This makes Venus unique. There are various theories as to why the Venus cycle was especially important for the Maya. Across Mesoamerica, Venus was often depicted as "defeating" the Sun and the Moon, perhaps because of its persistent visibility after transitions from day-into-night (and vice-versa). Most scholars agree that Venus was associated with war and that the Maya used it to divine good times (called electional astrology) for their coronations and wars. Maya rulers planned for wars to begin when Venus rose.



Notes

^ Tedlock, Barbara, Time and the Highland Maya Revised edition (1992 Page 1) "Scores of indigenous Guatemalan communities, principally those speaking the Mayan languages known as Ixil, Mam, Pokomchí, and Quiché, keep the 260-day cycle and (in many cases) the ancient solar cycle as well (chapter 4)."
^ Miles, Susanna W, "An Analysis of the Modern Middle American Calendars: A Study in Conservation." In Acculturation in the Americas. Edited by Sol Tax, pp. 273–84. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952.
^ Rice (2007), p. 33
^ See entry on Itzamna, in Miller and Taube (1993), pp.99–100.
^ a b Academia de las Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (1988). Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala: Documento de referencia para la pronunciación de los nuevos alfabetos oficiales. Guatemala City: Instituto Indigenista Nacional.. For details and notes on adoption among the Mayanist community, see Kettunen & Hemke (2005), p. 5
^ Tedlock (1992), p. 1
^ "Mythological" in the sense that when the Long Count was first devised sometime in the Mid- to Late Preclassic, long after this date; see for e.g. Miller and Taube (1993, p.50).
^ Finley (2002), Voss (2006, p.138)
^ Malmström (1997): "Chapter 6: The Long Count: The Astronomical Precision".
^ See separate brief Wikipedia article Lords of the Night
^ Coe (1992), Miller and Taube (1993).
^ Miller and Taube (1993, pp.68–71).
^ Classic-era reconstructions are as per Kettunen and Helmke (2005), pp.45–46..
^ Malmström (1997), and http://www.dartmouth.edu/~izapa/izapasite.html
^ Kettunen and Helmke (2005), pp.47–48
^ Zero Pop actually fell on the same day as the solstice on 12/27/−575, 12/27/−574, 12/27/−573, and 12/26/−572 (astronomical year numbering, Universal Time), if you don't account for the fact that the Maya region is in roughly time zone UT−6. See IMCCE seasons.
^ Boot (2002), pp.111–114.
^ For further details, see Thompson 1966: 123-124
^ Thompson 1966: 124
^ For a thorough treatment of the Year Bearers, see Tedlock 1992: 89-90; 99-104 and Thompson 1966
^ See Coe 1965
^ Tedlock 1992: 92
^ Miles, Susanna W, "An Analysis of the Modern Middle American Calendars: A Study in Conservation." In Acculturation in the Americas. Edited by Sol Tax, pp. 273-84. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952.
^ As quoted in USA Today (MacDonald 2007). Despite this knowledge questions still remain, as Professor Robert Chalken states "The ancient Maya really saw a lot of value in the calendar and treated it as a sacred thing, for them it was an ongoing process they would finish a cycle, celebrate, and then return to working on it. The question still remains why they stop with no sign of starting up again. It would have made much more sense to stop at the next cycle if they had just gotten 'sick' of working on it."
^ Thompson, J. Eric S. Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, 1950 Page 236


source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayan_calender

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 Reasons Why Christmas Hampers Make Perfect Christmas Presents



5 Reasons Why Christmas Hampers Make Perfect Christmas Presents

Everyone is looking for the perfect Christmas gift for their friends and loved ones this Christmas, but it can be so difficult to know exactly what that is. A Christmas hamper is the ideal present for those hard-to-buy-for people that either have everything or are too picky and difficult to please, or for people on a budget and here are five reasons why:

Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Hampers come in a range of sizes, from containing a singular bottle of wine to enough food and drink to cater for a whole party of people. It is this flexibility and choice of size which makes them a perfect gift for a whole family.

As the giver, you can make a choice whether you want to give a large hamper with enough food and wine for the whole family, or a small hamper as a less expensive token of Christmas cheer. Either way, this saves time and effort shopping for a separate present for each individual in a family or couple.

Home Delivery

One of the main issues concerning Christmas gift shopping is the overcrowding in shopping centres, car parks and high streets throughout the nation. For many people, the idea of going Christmas shopping fills them with dread at the thought of having to elbow their way through the crowds to even get a look at what is on the store shelves.

Ordering Christmas hampers online takes all of the stresses out of shopping as you do not even need to leave your own home! All of the available products are listed in an ordered manner with photographs of their presentation, available to order at the touch of a button. They are also delivered to your/the recipients door, meaning that presents can be sorted without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

Personalised Christmas Hampers

You may think that whilst a Christmas hamper may look like an impressive gift, it actually has little or no thought behind it in terms of matching it to the recipient or recipients' wants and personalities. Hampers can be seen as a sort of anonymous gift that anybody can send and receive, potentially leaving close friends and relatives offended that by sending a hamper you have not considered their personalities and what they would like carefully.

However, this is not the case. The range of hampers available means that you can choose one to suit their tastes; for example a chocolate hamper for a chocoholic or a wine and cheese hamper for someone who enjoys this. Also, many hampers can be personalised with names and messages, showing that you have thought not only about the contents of the hamper, but also how to say 'Merry Christmas'.

Luxury Included

When giving Christmas presents, a worry for a lot of people is that they person or people receiving them will look down upon them or think that they are cheap. It is nice to give gifts that you would be happy to receive yourself and adding a bit of luxury to the gift is always welcomed.

Hampers have built their reputation on providing the recipient with the best quality wine and food to ensure that the occasion is special and marked appropriately. As luxury comes as standard with hampers, both in terms of their contents and the baskets that they are contained in, they make an impressive gift for even the most fussy of recipients.

Affordable

Even though hampers are full of luxury items, they are a relatively affordable option as a Christmas gift. This is because you can choose the size and amount of contents; therefore the price is tailored to what you can afford. Also, larger hampers can serve as gifts for more than one person, meaning that the cost of their present is shared.

If you want to go out in the cold this Christmas and get involved in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping then by all means, please do so. However, for those of you looking to stay in the warm of our own home and avoid Christmas stress, buy hampers for your friends and family; they will appreciate them and so will you!

Ripley Hampers specialise in luxury hampers and have a wide range of Christmas Hampers to cater for all tastes and budgets. They also offer free UK delivery on all luxury hampers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gemma_L_Benton

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