Bikrami calendar

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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.[1][2]

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Solar calendar[edit]

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.

Lunar calendar[edit]

The following is the lunar calendar based on the new month starting on the day after a full moon[4] (as in the Punjabi calendar).[5]

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 full moon night called "purnima". Tithis for the waning phases are called "krishna" or the dark phase, which is regarded as the inauspicious fortnight.[6]

References[edit]