Welcome Nisannu 7321k / April 2021 Year
أهلاً بشهر نيسان … التقويم القومي الكلداني 7321ك
HAPPY AKITU & MANY HAPPY RETURNS
The Chaldean Babylonian year begins in spring and is divided into reššatti “beginning of the New Year”, mišilšatti “middle of the year”, and qītšatti “end of the year”. The Akkadian word for “month” is arḫu / Arkhu and the first month of the Babylonian calendar is Nisannu.
The chief deity of Babylonia and Mesopotamia, Marduk(h), was the main figure during this 11-day Festival. The official Festival took place in Babylon from April 1st to April 11th, where Babylon, the most magnificent city, hosted it. During the Neo-Babylon Empire the Hebrews lived in their ancestors’ land, “Mesopotamia”, being the descendants of Fr. Abraham who immigrated to the Promised Land from Babylonia “UR of the Chaldeans” Gin: 15-7.
Fr. Abraham himself was offspring of the proto-Kaldi. The Iraqi Jews and Mandaeans who are ethnically Chaldeans and the Arabists (Arabic speaking countries) of the Middle East adopted into their calendars the names of the Chaldean Babylonian months.
Nisannu “April” is the month of the gods: Anu and Enlil, it is also the month that marks the victory of God Marduḫ and his hard work to create Earth, Sky, and the universe. Nisannu is linked with the spring equinox and during this month, the Akitu Festival takes place in Babylon which comprises the sacred marriage rituals “Hashadu”. Therefore, it is referred to as the Love & Life month.
It also refers to ideas like: rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Nisannu “April” is primarily considered the Love month because of exchanging the Babylonian Daisy flowers between lovers and close people and because many flowering plants symbolize love bloom at this time of year in a long succession. In short, Nisannu is the perfect month to love and be loved as well as to enjoy the moment.
Chaldean Babylonians marked Nisannu as the joyful period of the beginning of “springtime”, where sweet water of the eternal rivers Tigris and Euphrates provide new life to the land, clear blue sky, and long sunny days of ancient Babylonia. It is Nisannu time, so Love and let Love.
Amer Hanna Fatuhi, PhD
Visual Artist & Historian