A Bikrami, or Desi year, is named after king Vikramaditya and starts in 57 B.C. The calendar has two elements: lunar and solar. The calendar starts with the lunar month of Chetar which starts during March, or the start of Spring, and consists of 365 days. Many states of India have Chetar as the new year. In places such as Sindh and Kerela, the new year starts in Chetar.
The solar element starts with the solar month of Vaisakh during April. Some states of India begin their calendar with the solar new year. In Punjab and Bengal, the solar element of the calendar starts with Vaisakh and the first day is the Vaisakhi new year in Punjab and the Pohla Boshakh (new year) in Bengal.
Nine of the solar months consist of 30 days, one are of 31 (Visakh) and other two (Jeth, Asadha) are of 32 days. This calendar is in traditional use in Punjab (both in India and Pakistan). Later the use was changed to other calendars including the Islamic calendar, the Nanakshahi calendar and the Gregorian Calendar.
The table below starts the calendar from the Solar month of Vaisakh.
The names of months are
|S.No.||Solar Month Name||Duration|
|1.||Visakh (Besakh)||Mid of April to Mid of May|
|2.||Jeth||Mid of May to Mid of June|
|3.||Harh||Mid of June to Mid of July|
|4.||Sawan||Mid of July to Mid of August|
|5.||Bhadon (Bhadhray)||Mid of August to Mid of September|
|6.||Asooj (Assun)||Mid of September to Mid of October|
|7.||Kattek (Kattun)||Mid of October to Mid of November|
|8.||Maghar||Mid of Novemberto Mid of December|
|9.||Poh||Mid of December Mid of January|
|10.||Magh||Mid of January Mid of February|
|11.||Phaggan||Mid of February to Mid of March|
|12.||Chetar||Mid of March to Mid of April|
A day consists of 8 Peh'r/Pahars, every Peh'r/Pahar equals to 3 hours of the modern clock. These Pahars are named: 1: Sajar vela or Sver vela = Morning/Day-break (6'o clock to 9'o clock). 2: Dhammi vela = Pre- noon time(9'o clock to 12'o clock). 3: Paishee vela = Noon(12'o clock to 3'o clock). 4: Deegar vela = Afternoon(3'o clock to 6'o clock). 5: nimasheen/namashan vela = Sunset + Evening + Early hours of night(6'o clock to 9'o clock). 6: Kuftain vela = Pre-midnight time (9'o clock to 12'o clock). 7: Adh Raat vela = Midnight to 3'o clock (12'o clock to 3'o clock). 8: Sarghee vela = Pre Dawn/Very early morning before the sunrise(3'o clock to 6'o clock). The word vela which may be spelled as vailaa means "time of the day" whereas the word Adh means half. While 'dowpahar/dowpeh'r' denotes noon time; and 'shikardowpehr' when sun is right on the heads.
The following is the lunar calendar based on the new month starting on the day after a full moon (as in the Punjabi calendar). However, the new lunar year starts on the day after the new moon in Chetar in line with the new lunar year based on the new moon calendar.
The following table gives the dates of the new months for 2014/2015
|S.No.||Lunar Month Name||Date|
|1.||Chetar||17 March 2014|
|2.||Visakh (Besakh)||16 April 2014|
|3.||Jeth||15 May 2014|
|4.||Harh||14 June 2014|
|5.||Sawan||13 July 2014|
|6.||Bhadon (Bhadhray)||11 August 2014|
|7.||Asooj (Assun)||10 September 2014|
|8.||Kattek (Kattun)||9 October 2014|
|9.||Maghar||7 November 2014|
|10.||Poh||7 December 2014|
|11.||Magh||6 January 2015|
|12.||Phaggan||4 February 2015|
A lunar year consists of 12 months. A lunar month has two fortnights. The lunar days are called "tithis". Each month has 30 tithis, which may vary from 20 – 27 hours. During the waxing phases, tithis are called "shukla" or the bright phase — the auspicious fortnight, beginning with the day after the new moon called "Amavasya". Tithis for the waning phases are called "krishna" or the dark phase, which is regarded as the inauspicious fortnight, starting from the day after the full moon or "purnima".
- Muhammad Aurang Zeb Mughal (2014). Calendars Tell History: Social Rhythm and Social Change in Rural Pakistan. History and Anthropology 25(5): 592-613.
- Muhammad Aurang Zeb Mughal (2014). Time, Space and Social Change in Rural Pakistan: An Ethnographic Study of Jhokwala Village, Lodhran District. PhD Thesis. Durham University.
- NanakShahi Calendar Controversy