Kurdish calendar

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The Kurdish calendar[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] is a calendar used in the Kurdistan region of Iraq alongside the Islamic and Gregorian calendar.[8]


The start of the calendar is marked by the Battle of Nineveh, a conquest of the Assyrians by the Medes and the Babylonians in 612 BC.[1][1][4][5] A historical event in the history of Kurds which roughly correspondents to the establishment of the Median Empire.[2]

Although the calendar is officially adopted in Iraqi Kurdistan its use is limited. Kurds in Iran use the calendar extensively as it is nearly identical to the Iranian Calendar. The calendar is not used by Kurds in Turkey and Syria as it is associated with Kurdish Nationalism and clashes with the official state calendars.[9][10]

Details of the Kurdish calendar[edit]

The calendar is made to fit into society's constructions by being divided into two seasons (summer and winter). The year is divided into four seasons consisting of 12 months with each month having seven days[7]. Months that fall into the summer season are 31 days long while months that fall into the winter season are 30 days long. The exception to this is the last month of winter which acts as a leap year and therefore will variate between 29 and 30 days.[7].

Month names[edit]

The names for the months are often derived from society's events in that month[7][11]

Order Days Native Script Romanized Likely Meaning
1 31 خاکەلێوە Xakelêwe
2 31 گوڵان Gullan Likely derived from the Kurdish word 'Gul' meaning flower.
3 31 زەردان Zerdan
4 31 پووشپەڕ Pusper
5 31 گەلاوێژ Gelawêj Named after the Gelawêj star that becomes visible in this month.
6 31 خەرمانان Xermanan Likely derived from the word Kurdish word 'Xerm' meaning warm.
7 30 ﺑﺊﺮﺍﻥ Beran
8 30 گێزان Xezan
9 30 ﺳﺎﺮﺍﻦ Saran
10 30 بەفران Befran Likely derived from the word 'Befr' meaning snow.
11 30 ڕێبەندان Rêbendan
12 29/30 ڕەشەمە Reşeme



  1. ^ a b c Kirmanj, pp. 367–384.
  2. ^ a b Hirschler 2001, pp. 145–166.
  3. ^ Rafaat, pp. 488–504.
  4. ^ a b Elis, pp. 193.
  5. ^ a b Gunter, pp. 191–209.
  6. ^ Leary 2005, p. 176.
  7. ^ a b c d Izady 1992, p. 241.
  8. ^ Kirmanj, pp. 372–373.
  9. ^ Izady 1992, p. 242.
  10. ^ Izady 1992.
  11. ^ Roshani 2004.


  • Elis, Hadi (2004-06-20). "The Kurdish demand for statehood and the future of Iraq". The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. 29 (2): 191–209.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gunter, Michael (1995). "The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview/No Friends But the Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds/The PKK: A Report on Separatist Violence in Turkey, 1973-1992/The Kurdish Tragedy". The International Journal of Kurdish Studies. The International Journal of Kurdish Studies. 8 (1/2): 133.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Hirschler, K. (2001). "Defining the Nation: Kurdish Historiography in Turkey in the 1990s". Middle Eastern Studies. Informa UK Limited. 37 (3): 145–166. doi:10.1080/714004406. ISSN 0026-3206.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kirmanj, Sherko (2014-07-15). "Kurdish History Textbooks: Building a Nation-State within a Nation-State". The Middle East Journal. The Middle East Journal. 68 (3): 367–384. doi:10.3751/68.3.12. ISSN 0026-3141.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Leary, Brendan (2005). The future of Kurdistan in Iraq. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1973-9. OCLC 57001883.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rafaat, Aram (2016-03-07). "The fundamental characteristics of the Kurdish nationhood project in modern Iraq". Middle Eastern Studies. Informa UK Limited. 52 (3): 488–504. doi:10.1080/00263206.2015.1124415. ISSN 0026-3206.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Roshani, Dilan. "Kurdish calendar". Kurdistanica. www.kurdistanica.com. Retrieved 19 April 2020.