NISANNU
The First Month

(Nisan)

"First"

Meaning of month-names in various calendars -



(1) Sheep and Goats; Flocks
(3) Offerings Festival of Ishara
(4) The Breads of Burumas/ Barley Consumption of Nanse / Barley Harvest
(5) Throne of the Sanctuary
(8) The Early Barley cutting
(9) When the Measuring Cord is Placed on the Field
(11) a) Warring ?

(Bm) Regents of the Monthly Decans, Aries Vernal Equinox (starting after 1100 b.c.e.)
Iku "Field Star," Aries + Cetus. Way of Ea.
Dil-bat, Venus; as constellation, N.E. Pisces. Way of Anu.
Apin, "Plough Star," Triangulum. Way of Enlil.
(in Taurus Vernal Equinox period, c. 3300 to 1100 b.c.e., these stars belonged to Addaru.)



Rules for each day of the month Nissanu, generally applicable to the days of all months. From 10th and 7th centuries b.c.e. (Aššurbanipal, 668 - 627) (Compiled by Langdon, Bm pp. 73 - 82; A= Old Calendar, B= Reformed Calendar (Aššurbanipal), C= notes from other sources; in all cases I omit the tablet sources).



Day 1
A. God Enlil; sinister; difficult for the sick; a physician may not lay his hand upon the sick, a prophet may utter no word; it is not suited to do anything desirable. The King and Lord may speak boldly. Lucky. Fish and lovage may not be eaten. The King shall clean his garment. King must make offering to Enlil, Ninlil, Samas, and Nusku.
B. Anu and Enlil. Lucky. When the New Moon appears by night and King offers a white kid, bathes, and in the morning makes sacrifices to Samas, Belit of the Lands, Sin and Mah.
C. Entirely lucky.

Day 2
A. The Istars. One may not go into the street, nor go to law or consult a seer. Unlucky. Fish and lovage may not be eaten.
B. The Istars. Unlucky. Offerings to Gods.....
C. One may take oath, but not go to law.

Day 3
A. Ritual by night for Marduk. Fish and lovage one may not eat. One may take a woman, and bring a wife into the house. Offerings to Sin and Samas.

B. Ritual by night for Marduk and Sarpanitu. Unlucky. Offerings by night before Marduk and Istar.

C. Fish forbidden, fish and lovage forbidden.

Day 4

A. Festival of Nabu; half the day lucky. One may not go out into the street, not go to judgement or a seer. King makes offerings to Marduk, Sarpanitu, Nabu, Tasmetu.

B. Festival of Nabu and Marduk. Lucky. Offerings to Nabu and Tasmetu by night.

C. Half the day lucky.

Day 5

A. Day of Bel of Ekur (Enlil). One may not go to law. King makes offerings to Sin.

B. Day of Bel of Ekur and Belit of Ekur (Ninlil). Lucky. King makes offerings before Assur and Ninlil by night.

C. One may not go to law.

Day 6

A. Adad. The King may not go into the street. One may not go to judgement or a seer. Lucky. King makes offering to Nabu, recites a penitential psalm, and cleans his garment....

B. Adad and Ninlil. Lucky. The King shall recite a penitential psalm and clean his garments, and make offerings to Adad.

C. Half the day is lucky.

Day 7

A. Ritual by night for Ea; gift to Marduk. Lucky and sinister. Difficult for the sick; physicians not to practise and seers not to prophesy. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. Offerings to God..... and Samas.

B. Ritual by night to Marduk and Sarpanitu. Lucky and sinister. King as Shepherd of the Peoples may eat no cooked flesh and baked bread. He may not change his garments nor put on clean garments, may not make sacrifices, ride in a chariot, nor speak as a Lord. Seer shall not prophesy and physicians not practise. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. Offerings to Marduk and Istar. He shall make sacrifices (perhaps at a different time of day).

C. One may not go to law.

Day 8

A. Festival of Goddess Mah. Offerings of King to his God.

B. Festival of Nabu. Lucky. The Shepherd of peoples shall prepare for sacrifices by night. Offerings to Nabu and Tasmetu.

C. One must pour water left and right (to the west).

Day 9

A. Gula. Lucky. Difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise and the seer may not speak. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. One may not go law. Offering by the King to Gula.

B. Ninurta and Gula. Lucky. King makes offerings by night before Ninurta and Gula, and sacrifices.

C. One may not go out into a street. Offerings to Sin and Samas.

Day 10

A. (Source destroyed)

B. Belit-Ekur (Ninlil) and Sakut. Lucky. King makes offerings before the constellation Wagon Star (of Ninlil) and the star "Son of Emah" (Sakut), and sacrifices.

C. If a man has sex with a woman, God will seize him. One may not go to judgement or to a seer.

Day 11

A. (Source destroyed)

B. A sacrifice to the "Stations of Tasmetu and Sarpanitu." Lucky. When the moon comes to the point when it bears a crown of light, the King makes and offering.

C. Gladness of heart. Offerings to Sin and Samas.

Day 12

A. (Source destroyed)

B. Giving of bread to Enlil and Ninlil. Lucky. Offerings to Enlil and Ninlil. Sacrifices.

C. One may not sell grain. Offerings to Sin and Samas.

Day 13

A. (Source destroyed)

B. Sin and Mah. Unlucky. Sin bears a full crown. King gives offerings to Samas and the Queen of the Lands (Istar), to Sin and Mah. All that the Shepherd of the Peoples commands is acceptable with God. The words of his mouth shall be heard.

C. One may take a wife. One may not be merry. Offering to Sin. One must worship Sin.

Day 14

A.Ninlil. Lucky and sinister, difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise and seers not prophesy. Unsuited to do anything desirable. If one works he will lose his money. One may not swear in the name of God, nor worship Sin and Samas. King must make offerings to Sin, Samas, and Ningal (wife of Sin). One may bring a wife into his house; he may put his house in order.

B. Ninlil and Nergal. Lucky and sinister. The Shepherd of the Peoples may not eat cooked flesh or baked bread; he may not change his garments nor put on clean garments. He may not make sacrifices, nor ride in a chariot, nor speak as a Lord. The prophet may not prophesy and the physician may not lay his hand upon the sick. It is unsuited to do anything desirable. The King must make offerings by night to Ninlil and Nergal. He shall make sacrifices.

C. The Moon-God will not receive a man's confession of sin at once. One may not say "accept my petition." Sin and Samas adore Anu.

Day 15

A. Nineanna. One may not take oath, nor transact business. The King makes offerings to Sin. One may not bow down to his God.

B. Nineanna. "Casting of accounts" of Sin and Mah. Lucky. The King makes offerings to Samas and the Queen of the Lands, to Sin and Mah; he must make sacrifices.

C. One must make offering to Sin and Samas. Sin will not receive the confession of sins. One may not say "accept my petition." One shall not transact business. One may not take oath.

Day 16

A. Ritual by night to Marduk. The King makes offering to Sulpae (Jupiter = Marduk). He must clean his garment. The King shall recite a penitential psalm, and clean his garment.....

B. Ritual by night to Marduk and Sarpanitu. Lucky. The King must clean his garment. Before he enters to recite a penitential psalm by night before Marduk and Istar he shall make offering. He shall make sacrifices. In the morning he shall make offerings to Samas, the Queen of the Lands, Sin, and Mah.

C. One may not mention the name of God (take an oath). Istar, Sin, and Samas will be gracious and one may acquire a wife.

Day 17

A. Festival. Unlucky. Physicians may not practise. The King makes offerings to Sin and Ningal, to Gula, to the God and Goddess of his city. Ningal will intercede for him with Sin.

B. Festival of Nabu and Marduk. Lucky. King makes offerings to Nabu and Tasmetu by night, and sacrifices.

C. Offerings to Nabu and Tasmetu. Ningal intercedes for him with Sin.

Day 18

A. Lucky. One will escape from ruin and humiliation. A hunter may not catch fish, bird, or wild beast; for it is an abomination to Girra. The King makes offering to the Pleiades.

B. Festival of Sin and Samas. Lucky. The hunter may not catch fish, bird, or wild beast. King makes offering to Pleiades, to Samas, the Queen of the Lands, to Sin and Mah; he sacrifices.

C. A hunter may not catch fish, bird, or wild beast.

Day 19

A. Day of the Wrath of Gula. Sinister. Difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise, and the seer not speak out. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. Prayer and weeping shall the assembly institute. Because of Bau (= Gula) one shall not sweep his house, nor wash his feet, nor complete the construction of his house. King makes offering to Orion.

B. Day of Wrath of Gula. Lucky. Sinister. Physicians may not practise. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. Because of Bau one may not sweep his house nor wash his feet, nor complete the construction of his house. King makes offering to Orion. The Shepherd of Peoples may not eat anything cooked, change his garment, or put on clean garments. He shall not sacrifice, ride in a chariot, nor speak as a ruler. The seer may not speak. King makes offerings to Ninurta.

Day 20

A. Samas. Sinister. Half the day lucky. King makes offerings to Samas, Aya, and Bunene (messenger/charioteer of Samas).

B. The King may not eat any flesh touched by fire, nor change his garment, nor put on clean garments. He shall not sacrifice, nor ride in a chariot, nor speak as a ruler. The seer may not speak. King makes offering to Gula. [During intercalary month: "Bright day." Day of the giving of bread of Sin and Samas. Lucky. King sets forth bread to Samas, the Queen of the Lands, Sin, and Mah. He makes sacrifices.]

Day 21

A. Day of the Reckoning of Samas. Unlucky, sinister. Difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise and a seer may not speak. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. Let the King speak many charitable words (abound in good deeds). Because of Bau one may not sweep his house, nor wash his feet. The King makes offering to Samas and Bau. All work of the weavers must cease, and may it not prosper.

B. Day of reckoning of Sin and Samas. Lucky.

Day 22

A. Burnt offering to Enlil. Lucky and sinister. (Offerings to Samas)

B. Day of Reckoning of Sin. Festival of Ninegal... Lucky. Eclipse of Samas.. He will hear him. King makes offering to Samas and the Queen of the Lands. He sacrifices.

Day 23

A. Unlucky.

B. Festival of Samas and Adad. Lucky. The King makes offerings to Samas and Adad and sacrifices.

Day 24

A. Day dedicated to Sin and Ninurta.

B. Festival of Enegal and Ninegal. Day of the decrees of the Goddesses. Lucky. King makes offerings to Enegal and Ninegal.

Day 25

(Day of the procession of Enlil and the Lady of Babylon (Ninlil here). Offerings by night to Enlil before the Plough Star and to the Lady of Babylon before the Wagon Star. Lucky day.)

Day 26

A. Festival of the River-Goddess. The King to Sin and Samas must not prostrate himself in prayer. Sin and Samas will render his decision in everything and he must make offerings to them.

B. Day of the Brick of Ea and Mah. Lucky. The King may not recite a penitential psalm during Elul II, but must do so Arahsamna, Sabattu. Offerings to Ea and Mah. Sacrifices.

Day 27

A. Song-service to Nergal. Unlucky. Day of penance. King not permitted to prostrate himself to Sin and Samas, but makes offering to Anu and recites a penitential psalm, and cleans his garment. Day of sorrow for waning Moon.

B. Song-service to Nergal and festival of River-Goddess, in preparation for the descent of the Moon into the lower world, crossing the River of Death. The King makes offerings to Nergal and River-Goddess, and Sacrifices. One may not eat the flesh of the ox.

Day 28

A. Laying of the Wall of Mah. Lucky and sinister. Difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise and the seer may speak no word. Unsuited for doing anything desirable. One may not go out into the street, but one may approach a shrine. One may not prostrate himself to Sin and Samas. One must bow down to his own God, but not pray for himself. He must worship his God. The King must recite a penitential psalm.

B. Day of Ea, day of the Ravishment of the Moon-God. Day of Nergal. Lucky in some months, unlucky in other months. Sinister. Same as days 7, 14, 21. King makes offerings to Ea and Mah, sacrifices and recites an penitential psalm in those months when it is permitted.

Day 29

A. Day of the Ravishment of the Moon-God. Sinister. Lucky. Difficult for the sick. Physicians may not practise and the seer may utter no word. Unsuited for work. One may not go out into the road. Eclipse (time of mourning) of Sin and Samas. One may not pray for himself, but shall pray to Sin and Samas. King makes offerings to Anu, Nergal, and Nanaya. One may not go out of the Gate.

B. Day of the Ravishment of the Moon-God, when the Igigi (Gods of Heaven and Earth) and the Anunnaki (Gods of the Lower World) are assembled. Lucky. King must change his garment during Simanu, make offerings to Sin and Mah, and sacrifice. One may bring a wife into his house during Sabatu.

Day 30

A. Day of Anu. Lucky and sinister. Difficult for the sick (same instructions for physicians, seers, work, and going into the street as day 29). One may not bow down to Sin and Samas, nor pray to his God, nor pray for himself. One must worship Sin and Samas.

B. Day of Anu and Enlil. King makes offerings to Anu and Enlil, and sacrifices. Usually lucky. Sabatu unlucky. One must bow down to Adad, and may not drink wine during Sabatu.





1. (4) Zag-mu (New Year) Festival in Girsu; (4b) Festival of Baba;(5) Zag-mu in Nippur, in Ninlil's temple, Tummal; (7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest;(8) Festival of the Early Barley Cutting; (9a) Great Offerings in Uruk; (10a) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; ghee, cheese, dates, milk, yellow milk withdrawn from storehouse of Ningal; (10b) a-ki-ti of Dumuzi of Badtibira; (13) sibut sattim Observance (for three days at some point in the first month): occasion of initiation of young girl as naditu-priestess (cloistered priestess dedicated to Samas and Aya); day one: entrance into cloister; (PT) Offering Hymn to Anu; (KL) Feast for Balta (Venus);

2. (4) Zag-mu Festival in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; (13) sibut sattim Observance day 2: Memorial Day for Deceased Naditu-Priestesses; (15) akitu of Assur: day 1 - after a ritual meal, Assur leaves his temple for the Akitu-house in a chariot drawn by white horses; (PT) Offering Hymn to Anu in the morning/Akitu begins; (KL) Feast for Balta; Feast of Damis;

3. (4) Zag-mu in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; offering to the Boat of Heaven (Nanna's barge entering Ur from Gaes outside the city); (13) sibut sattim Observance, day 3: final ceremonies of installment of the Naditu; (15) akitu of Assur: day 2 - (?) Assur returns to his temple; (PT) Akitu; (KL) Feast for Balta; Feast for the Stibium;

4. (4) Zag-mu in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; (15) akitu of Assur: evening of day 3/4 - King visits chapels of Assur, Ninlil and returns to palace; special ritual of Ninlil and Serua; special ablutions to Sin; (PT) Akitu; (KL) Celebration of Ploutos;

5. (4) Zag-mu in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest;(PT) Akitu/ Akitu in the Steppe; (KL) Feast of blyan, the Idol of Venus;

6. (4) Zag-mu in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; (15) Gifts are given from 6th to 12th day (Assur); (PT) Akitu in the Steppe; (KL) Feast of Smar and the Living Being of the Moon; Sacrifice of Bull for the Moon;

7. (4)Last day of Zag-mu in Girsu;(7) a-ki-ti of the Harvest; offering to entu-priestess in Gaes; (15) Gifts given (Assur: day 2); special ablutions to Adad at Assur; (15) Festival of Nabu in Palmyra; (PT) Akitu in the Steppe;

8. (15) Gifts given (Assur: day 3); kettledrum performance before the Gods at Assur; (PT) Akitu in the Steppe; (KL) Celebrations for the Seven Deities, the Devils, the Jinn and Spirits; breaking of the Fast of Thirty Days (to dawn of 9th);

9. (15) Gifts given (Assur: day 4); (PT) Akitu in the Steppe; (KL) The Lords of the Hours;

10.(15) Gifts given (Assur: day 5); (PT) Akitu in the Steppe/ Akitu in Uruk;

11.(15) Gifts given (Assur: day 6); (PT) Akitu in the Steppe/ Akitu in Uruk/ bit ikribi in Babylon;

12.(15) Gifts given (Assur: day 7); (PT) Akitu in the Steppe;

13.

14.

15.(9a) Inanna offerings in Uruk;(PT) Offering Hymn to Anu; (KL) The Mysteries of al-simak (the Mystery of Shamal);

16.

17.

18.

19.

20. (KL) Celebrations of Coming of the Idol of Water at Dayr Kadhi;

21.(PT)Incantation;

22.

23.

24.

25.(14) Oil dispersed in Ceremony to Halli;

26.(10b) Festival of the Boat of An, distribution of provisions for Samas and for the Eanna;

27.

28.(KL) Festival at the Moon Shrine dayr sini; Celebrations in a sanctuary in the village Sabta;

29.(7) beginning ? of elunum Festival of Belat-terraban and Belat-suhner (at disappearance of the Moon?);

30.