In a nation that is more sea than land (less than one per cent of the Maldives is land), the weather obviously plays a significant role in day to day life. Since earliest times, the Maldivian people have organized their lives around a calendar of nakaiy - a series of 13 or 14 day intervals, each with a predictable weather pattern.Every year brings two monsoons, iruvai (the north-east monsoon) and hulhangu (the south-west monsoon). To a visitor, this simply means the hot and dry season (iruvai) and the hot and west season (huhangu).
But to the Maldivian people, each monsoon means a series of nakaiy which determine lifestyles for the next six months. This calendar is still used today to determine the best times to fish, travel or cultivate crops. Some people even use it before planning a marriage or building a house. It is said, for example, that children born in Maa amkaiy will attain high stations in life and that those born in Uthura nakaiy will be deeply religious.
The nakaiy calendar goes something like this:
Annual rainfall is approximately 1750mm with monthly figures as shown in the graph below