Ever wondered what is was like for people back in the old days when there were no watches, clocks or calendars? How they were able to tell the exact time when something was due to be done?
Ever asked yourself how you would be able to live if you were without these necessities?
Our ancestors were able to do it and handle it quite effeciently by looking at the signs in nature and by following their own calendar.
The Fijian calendar is based on planting and fishing seasons. Unlike the ordinary calendar year which is divided into 12 months, the Fijian calendar is divided into 11 months.
The months are named for the different planting and fishing seasons. The Fijian calendar year began in June/July and not in January as we have it today.
There were known as vula i werewere, meaning it is the month for clearing the land for planting. People know it as vula i werewere because fruits like kavika, wi and dawa are ripe.
It is also a time for digging kaile (a rootcrop belonging to the yam family that grows wild) and kawais (also part of the yam family). And towards the end of the month, large numbers of fish can be caught near the sea shore.
Vula means moon and is also the Fijian word for month and werewere means clearing.
July/August is called Vula i Cukicuki. This is when patches of ground are broken up for yam beds.
The soil is allowed to lie fallow. Nature`s indicator during this time was the blooming of the ivi-tree. Cukicuki means September is vula i vavakada, when young yam plants are tied to reeds to enable them to climb up.
It is also the last month of the regular planting season.
The four months after this are named after fish. October is called the vula i balolo lailai, when there is a small rise of the balolo, a sea worm found in reefs.
You will also find that kaile and breafruit is in abundance during this month. For those who missed the vula i teitei, or planting months, this is the perfect opportunity to plant kawai
November is the vula i balolo levu when there are mess quantities of the sea worm.
You also know that it is this particular month because bananas are plentiful and tivoli (part of the yam family) is ready for digging.
December is vula i nuqa lailai when small quantities of fish arrives.
Breadfruit planting was also done at this time. January is vula i nuqa levu when there are large numbers of fish....