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A calendar is a tool used to decipher the time of an event and for planning things that have not happened yet. This is done using days, called calendar dates. The dates are usually made based on how things in the sky seem to move. The year and month are based on motions of the Sun and moon. By knowing what day something happened or will happen, people have an easier life. Since the beginning of history, knowing when the seasons would start for crops was very important for farmers to survive and feed societies.

Calendar systems have a beginning time or era. The calendar era is often a religion-based event, such as the birth of Jesus, but it may be a political event such as a coronation or the founding of a state. Dates that are counted from the coronation are called "regnal".

The three principal calendars most used today are the Gregorian, Jewish, and Islamic calendars. Other calendar systems from many different parts of the world are also used.

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