7. Relicts of the Lunar Calendar
The Old Lithuanian and Baltic Calendar system was almost never researched. The fact that in the past the Lunar calendar was in frequent use indirectly is witnessed by the folk and ethnographic material where the figures 3, 9 and 3x9. They are associated with the lunar calendar cycle.
The Vilnius astronomer M.M.Gusev (15, 335-354) finds direct confirmation that the Lithuanians used lunar calendar in the 19th century description of the calendar stick. This calendar was found in the right slope of the river Strėva in Trakai region. It is dated the 16th century. It is the stick whose end is clad in the copper sheet marked in spiral manner. The signs are formed by a number of tiny nails. M.M.Gusev determined that the signs stand for the 12 months of the lunar calendar and the days of the lunar week. The original sign and starts with the crescent of the New Moon mark every month. M.M.Gusev determined that the signs of the month reflect the phenology of the months and the main agricultural function of the month. In his opinion the year in this calendar starts with the April. Therefor the sign of the first month is a downward flying dove (lith. balandis, the name of April in lith. Balandis). The days of the week are marked with figures close to Roman.
There is a hypothesis that ancient Lithuanians could agree the Lunar and the Solar calendars by watching the new and the full Moon in combination with the position of the Pleiades (Juška 1977, 4-5).
Even the recent records indicate that there exists a difference between the Heavenly months (Dangaus mėnesių) and the Earth months (Žemės mėnesių). It is said that the Heavenly month starts before the Earth month and therefor it allows us to see the weather of the coming month: On the sky the months are counted. My mother knew that. Now the haymaking is coming but on the sky a different month comes. On the sky July (lith. Liepa), it goes by one month ahead. On the Earth nobody cuts hay but the sky shows haymaker. The sky month determines which one is coming. If our month comes first there is no knowing. When the sky showed the month with snow and rain, then we see what month is coming (Mažrimas, Kelmė region, 1992). Therefore the Lunar calendar relics should include the tradition of the weather forecast for the coming month depending on the shape of the crescent.