The Hindu calendar and its dating framework has been fully functional and utilized in India from around 1000 BCE. This calendar is still used to set updates of the Hindu festivals that fall in a year. It is also known as the Hindu Festival Calendar. During ancient times, there was no calendar system, scholars and people often gazed at the sky and did their calculations to guess the time but as the human race developed, a man wanted to ascertain the time and thus the need to devise a gadget was felt.
They wanted a gadget which could read and note the accurate time and which could be referred to for present and future references and which could also be useful to learn and contemplate the time span of past years. This was when the Calendar was manufactured. As mentioned earlier, the Hindu calendar is one of the oldest calendars that not only tracks time, day, month and years but it also informs us about the Hindu festivals and the Subh tithi to perform the puja on an auspicious occasion.
In India at present, there are two types of Hindu calendars which are utilized by individuals across the country. These Calendars are the Saka Samvat Calendar and the Vikram Samvat Calendar. The National Calendar of India is based on the Saka Calendar which is adopted as the official civil calendar beside the Gregorian Calendar. It is one of the National Symbols of India.
The Hindu calendar depends on lunar months compared to the periods of the moon. There are 12 months in one year which comprises 29.5 days, representing a sum of 354 days. The deficit implies that the date of every celebration moves back 11 days every year. To redress this, an additional month is added about once at regular intervals. The Hindu calendar is subsequently lunisolar based, with an exact month and an inexact year.
The year – It begins with Makar Sankranti when the sun enters into Capricorn sign which is bifurcated into two equal halves and six seasons. There are different methods of calculating the New Year; most basic is the day after the new moon in the period of Chaitra or, in Gujarat, the day after the Diwali new moon. Different times are utilized for numbering the years; the most widely recognized are the Vikrami Era, starting with the crowning ceremony of King Vikram-Aditya in 57 BCE and the Shaka Era, which is calculated from 78 CE. In ceremonies, the scholars mostly report the dates as indicated by KaliYuga. For this framework, the year 2000 compares to 2057, 1922, and 5102 respectively. However, the last figure is still a debatable topic.
The Hindu calendar showcases, months and years along with the Hindu festivals that fall in the specific months. This calendar is similar to the Gregorian calendar.
According to the Hindu calendar every month, there are two “fortnights,” each consisting of 15 “lunar days.” Although the time of solar days and lunar days are different from each other, each solar day is attributed one specific lunar day numbered from one to fifteen, both of the brilliant fortnight (waxing moon) or the dim fortnight (winding down moon). Months normal out to 29.5 days, so periodically a day will be dropped. For instance, in one month, the fourth day of the waxing moon might be trailed by the 6th.
The week generally comprises and is segregated into seven days, each comparing to one of seven planets, precisely as in the West. No day is especially uncommon except for when each is identified with a particular divinity. For instance, Monday is regularly connected with Shiva and Tuesday with Hanuman. Hindus may perform diets and discuss petitions to ask a specific divinity on the relevant day of the week.
The day ordinarily starts at sunrise, or before the astronomical system and astrological structures are utilized. The day is partitioned into 15 muhurtas, each of around 48 minutes, and the night is correspondingly isolated. Customarily Brahmanas serenade the Gayatri mantra at dawn, early afternoon and dusk in light of the fact that these are viewed as especially significant times. The initial two muhurtas (around 60 minutes) of the morning before daybreak are viewed as generally propitious, particularly for otherworldly practices.
There are two fundamental schedules. In North India, the month, by and large, starts with the full moon, in South India with the new moon. Celebration days will at present fall around the same time, or intently, yet the name of the month might be unique. For instance, Krishna’s Birthday falls on the eighth day of the dim moon; in the North, this is in the period of Bhadra; in the South in Shravana.
The word Calendar has its birthplace from the Roman word Calends or Kalends meaning a method of assigning time into specific periods embraced with the end goal of common life. Public Calendar of a nation has a solid relationship with the authentic time of a nation and holds a specific brilliant period in that. In India, there are two types of Hindu Calendars:
Types of Hindu calendars
- Vikram Samvat
- Saka Calendar
Let us now learn about the Vikram Samvat
The Vikram Samvat likewise viewed as the Vikrami schedule is a verifiable schedule for the Hindus in India. Vikram Samvat is additionally the official schedule of Nepal and is named after the lord Vikramaditya. This schedule came into centre after the ninth century with the start of epigraphical work of art. Prior to the ninth century, a similar schedule framework was referred to with different names, for example, Krita and Malava.
A portion of the special highlights of the Vikrami schedule is referenced beneath:
- It imprints the start of the Vikrama period that won in India and Nepal.
- The period is named after King Vikramaditya to check his victory over the Saka rulers.
- It begins at 57 B.C. prior to the ninth century with Vikramaditya.
- This is a schedule dependent on the development of the moon and has 354 days in a year.
- The Vikram Samvat has a year with every month separated into two stages:
- Shukla paksha (15 days) – starts with the new moon and finishes with a full moon
- Krishna paksha (15 days) – starts with a full moon and finishes with the new moon
Division of a year in Vikram Samvat
The primary day of the Vikram Samvat schedule is praised after Diwali in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The Vikram Samvat is comparable in a plan to the Gregorian schedule and has been utilized by the Hindus and the Sikhs. This schedule framework is one of the lunisolar schedules created by antiquated human societies. It utilizes the lunar months and sun-powered sidereal years for the division of a year.
Let us take a look at the months as mentioned in the Vikram Samvat and what are these months called in the Gregorian Calendar as per the table given beneath:
|Vikram Samvat||Gregorian Calendar|
Public Calendar of India – Saka Calendar
The Saka Era denoted the beginning of the Saka Samvat, a noteworthy Hindu calendar which holds a rich history. This calendar as mentioned above was presented as ‘Indian National Calendar’ in 1957. The Saka Era is accepted to have been established by King Shalivanhana of Shatavahana line. The Saka schedule comprises 365 days and a year which is like the structure of the Gregorian Calendar. The primary month of the Saka Samvat is Chaitra which starts on March 22 which compares with March 21 during the leap year.
Let us learn about the twelve months that are mentioned in the Saka Calendar and what are these months called according to the Gregorian calendar.
|Saka Samvat||Gregorian Calendar|
|Chhaitra||March 21 – April 20|
|Vaishakha||April 21-May 21|
|Jyeshtha||May 22-June 21|
|Ashadha||June 22-July 22|
|Shravana||July 23-August 22|
|Bhaadra||August 22-September 22|
|Ashwin||September 23-October 22|
|Kartika||October 23-November 21|
|Agrahayana||November 22-December 21|
|Pausha||December 22-January 20|
|Magha||January 21-February 19|
|Phalguna||February 20-March 20/21|
Rarely known facts about the Saka Calendar
- It is an authentic ancient calendar comprising time compared to Julian year 78.
- It is otherwise called Shalivahana Saka time or Mahasakkarat Era.
- Saka time denotes the recognition of King Shalivahana’s central military victories.
- The first sign of a connection between King Shalivahana and the Saka period was confirmed by the Kannada work Udbhatakavya by Somaraja.
- The Saka schedule is utilized additionally by the Indonesian Hindus in Bali and Java.
- The Saka Calendar is utilized by The Gazette of India alongside the Gregorian calendar.