Bolivia leader Morales wants to ditch Gregorian calendar
- 22 June 2016
- From the section Latin America & Caribbean
Bolivian President Evo Morales has proposed that the Andean country switch back from the Gregorian calendar to the calendar previously used by its indigenous people.
During celebrations for the Aymara New Year, Mr Morales said that he found the Gregorian calendar "untidy".
He suggested that Bolivia "reclaim its ancestral calendar as part of the rebuilding of our identity".
Mr Morales is from the Aymara indigenous group.
It is not the first time the Bolivian government has suggested changes to the way time is measured.
Two years ago, the clock on the facade of the Congress in La Paz was reversed so that its hands turned left and the numbers were inverted to go from one to 12 anti-clockwise.
The government dubbed it "clock of the south".
On Tuesday, Mr Morales said the indigenous calendar, in which a year has 13 months of 28 days each, was much "tidier" than the Gregorian one, in which the length of the months can vary between 28 and 31 days.
The 21 of June, the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, is considered "day zero" in the indigenous calendar and marks the beginning of the new year.
On Tuesday, many Bolivians celebrated the arrival of the year 5,524.
The year is calculated by adding the number of years which have passed since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492 to the 5,000 years indigenous people are estimated to have lived in the region.
President Morales declared 21 June a national holiday in 2010.
Traditionally, he sees in the new year at the archaeological ruins at Tiahuanaco, the site of a pre-Columbian fortress.
But due to knee surgery, this year the president held a ceremony at the presidential palace instead.