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Akitu

Akitu or Akitum ( Sumerian: , akiti-šekinku, ,  "the barley-cutting", akiti-šununum,  "barley-sowing"; Akkadian:  or , "head of the year") was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.The Babylonian Akitu festival has played a pivotal role in the development of theories of religion, myth and ritual, yet the purpose of the festival remains a point of contention among both historians of religion and Assyriologists.

The name is from the Sumerian for " barley", originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk's victory over Tiamat.