Encyclopedia > Hindu calendar

  Article Content

Hindu calendar

There are many variations of Hindu calendars (also called Indian calendars). Some regions use a solar calendar based on what are the signs of the Zodiac in English. Other regions use a luni-solar calendar with months based on the lunar cycle and years of either 12 or 13 months. The Gregorian calendar is also widely used in India for civil purposes.

Many Hindus use both a lunar and a solar calendar simultaneously, as part of a panchangam. The word means "five limbs". The five parts of a panchangam depend on: 1. the lunar day, 2. the lunar month, 3. the half-day, 4. the angle of the sun and moon, and 5. the solar day.

Some lunar calendars start each month with a new moon, while others start each month with a full moon, and Hindu calendars don't all agree on when a year starts, either.

In an attempt to get everyone in India to use the same calendar, the govermnment introduced an Indian National calendar in 1957. It is a solar calendar with either 365 or 366 days in a year, leap year rules identical to those in the Gregorian calendar, but with years starting near the vernal equinox (March 22 in regular years, March 21 in leap years) and traditional Indian names for the months. Years are counted from the first year of the Saka era[?], (78 A.D.)

The months of the solar calendar are shown in the following table.

(Rashi)
Saur Maas
(solar months)
Rtau
(season)
Gregorian
months
Zodiac
Sanskrit
Tamil
Maysha
Chaitra
Vasanta
(spring)
April/May
Aries
Vrushabha
Vaikasi
May/June
Taurus
Mithuna
Ani
Grishma
(summer)
June/July
Gemini
Karka
Adi
July/Aug.
Cancer[?]
Simha
Avani
Varsha
(monsoon)
Aug./Sept.
Leo
Kanya
Puratasi
Sept./Oct.
Virgo
Tula
Aipasi
Sara
(autumn)
Oct./Nov.
Libra
Vrushchika
Kartikai
Nov./Dec.
Scorpio
Dhanu
Markali
Hemantha
(winter)
Dec./Jan.
Saggitarius[?]
Makar
Thai
Jan./Feb.
Capricorn
Kumbha
Masi
Sisir
(dewy)
Feb./Mar.
Aquarius
Meena
Panguni
Mar./Apr.
Pisces

The year is also divided into 6 seasons of two months each.

The ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun through the sky, is dividied into 12 rashi, which are the same as the signs of the zodiac[?] in English. The solar months[?] are based on the rashi.

The ecliptic is also divided into 27 lunar mansions[?], the nashatra, which means stars in English. There are 3 nashatra in each rashi.

The lunar months, shown below, are named for twelve of the nakshatra. Purushottam is the adhika maas (extra month) added when the lunar months have gotten about 30 days behind in the the solar calendar. Lunar months consist of thirty lunar days, or tithis. (Lunar days are not the same length as solar days) In some calendars, lunar months are simply numbered, not named.

The Lunar months
(Maas)
1
Chaitra
2
Vaishakh
3
Jyeshta
4
Aashaadh
5
Shraavan
6
Bhadrapad
7
Ashwin
8
Kaartik
9
Margasheersh
10
Paush
11
Maagh
12
Phalgun
--
(Purushottam)

Months are divided into two halves called paksha.

  • the shukla paksha - the light half, beginning with the new moon
  • the krshna paksha - the dark half, beginning with the full moon
There are two different systems for making the lunar calendar:
  • amanta or mukhya mana system - a month begins with a new moon
  • purnimanta or gauna mana system - a month begins with a full moon.


See also

Metrics of time in Hinduism

External links

Hindu calendar - An article exploring some of the mathematics of Hindu calendars.

http://sanjayrath.tripod.com/Article/hindu_calendar.htm



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Explorer

... Nunez de Balboa, (c. 1475-1519), (- Spanish, first to sight the Pacific Ocean, founded Darién, oldest surviving European settlement in the Western Hemisphere William ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 22.8 ms