The Hindu calendar or Panchang refers to a set of various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia, with further regional variations for social and Hindu religious purposes. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping based on sidereal year for solar cycle and adjustment of lunar cycles in every three years, however also differ. The year beginning at the vernal equinox equals the number of the Gregorian year beginning at the preceding 1 January minus  Hindu. Hindu calendar, counting from the start of the Kali Yuga, with its epoch on 18 February, BC Julian (23 January, BC Gregorian), based on Aryabhata (6th century).
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Panchanag aka Hindu Calendar is a book of Planetary calculations and other astrological events. Panchang is an essential book for every Indian who follows Hindu culture and traditions. It contains day to day planetary positions, special events, festivals, eclipse timings, Muhurtas and many more. Panchanga is a Sanskrit word. You can access last 60 days issues of all eleven editions of The Hindu & Business line (Chennai edition only) from the current date in the e-Paper archives. You can always select a back date from the calendar on the tool bar or СChange DateТ from the left menu. Trending on The Hindu 89K ItТs near-lockdown all week as police close non-essential establishments. 22mins СCredit growth slowed to year low of %Т.
The Hindu calendar or Panchang refers to a set of various lunisolar calendars that are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia , with further regional variations for social and Hindu religious purposes. They adopt a similar underlying concept for timekeeping based on sidereal year for solar cycle and adjustment of lunar cycles in every three years, however also differ in their relative emphasis to moon cycle or the sun cycle and the names of months and when they consider the New Year to start.
Their new year starts in spring. In contrast, in regions such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the solar cycle is emphasized and this is called the Tamil Calendar Though Tamil Calendar uses month names like in Hindu Calendar and Malayalam calendar , their new year starts in autumn, and these have origins in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. The ancient Hindu calendar conceptual design is also found in the Hebrew calendar , the Chinese calendar , and the Babylonian calendar , but different from the Gregorian calendar.
The Hindu calendars have been in use in the Indian subcontinent since Vedic times, and remain in use by the Hindus all over the world, particularly to set Hindu festival dates. Early Buddhist communities of India adopted the ancient Vedic calendar, later Vikrami calendar and then local Buddhist calendars. Buddhist festivals continue to be scheduled according to a lunar system. Similarly, the ancient Jain traditions have followed the same lunisolar system as the Hindu calendar for festivals, texts and inscriptions.
However, the Buddhist and Jain timekeeping systems have attempted to use the Buddha and the Mahavira's lifetimes as their reference points.
The Hindu calendar is also important to the practice of Hindu astrology and zodiac system as well as observing special appearance days of the Lord and fasting days such as Ekadasi.
The Vedic culture developed a sophisticated time keeping methodology and calendars for Vedic rituals,  and timekeeping as well as the nature of solar and moon movements are mentioned in Vedic texts. Time keeping was important to Vedic rituals, and Jyotisha was the Vedic era field of tracking and predicting the movements of astronomical bodies in order to keep time, in order to fix the day and time of these rituals.
David Pingree has proposed that the field of timekeeping in Jyotisha may have been "derived from Mesopotamia during the Achaemenid period",  but Yukio Ohashi considers this proposal as "definitely wrong". He cites Greek historians describing Maurya kings referring to a calendar which originated in BC known as Saptarsi calendar. Dharmic Hindu scholars kept precise time by observing and calculating the cycles of Surya i. These calculations about the sun appear in various astronomical texts in Sanskrit , such as the 5th-century Aryabhatiya by Aryabhata , the 6th-century Romaka by Latadeva and Panca Siddhantika by Varahamihira, the 7th-century Khandakhadyaka by Brahmagupta and the 8th-century Sisyadhivrddida by Lalla.
The manuscripts of these texts exist in slightly different versions. They present Surya, planet-based calculations and Surya's relative motion to earth. These vary in their data, suggesting that the text were open and revised over their lives. The Hindu texts used the lunar cycle for setting months and days, but the solar cycle to set the complete year. This system is similar to the Jewish and Babylonian ancient calendars, creating the same challenge of accounting for the mismatch between the nearly lunar days in twelve months, versus nearly solar days in a year.
According to Scott Montgomery, the Siddhanta tradition at the foundation of Hindu calendars predate the Christian era, once had 18 texts of which only 5 have survived into the modern era.
These ancient scholars attempted to calculate their time to the accuracy of a truti In their pursuit of accurate tracking of relative movements of celestial bodies for their calendar, they had computed the mean diameter of the earth, which was very close to the actual 12, km 7, mi.
Regional diversification took place in the medieval period. Later, the term Jyotisha evolved to include Hindu astrology. The astrological application of the Hindu calendar was a field that likely developed in the centuries after the arrival of Greek astrology with Alexander the Great ,    because their zodiac signs are nearly identical. The ancient Hindu texts on Jyotisha only discuss timekeeping, and never mention astrology or prophecy. Hinduism and Buddhism were the prominent religions of southeast Asia in the 1st millennium CE, prior to the Islamic conquest that started in the 14th century.
The Hindus prevailed in Bali, Indonesia, and they have two types of Hindu calendar. One is a day based Pawukon calendar which likely is a pre-Hindu system, and another is similar to lunisolar calendar system found in South India and it is called the Balinese saka calendar which uses Hindu methodology. There are several samvat found in historic Buddhist, Hindu and Jaina texts and epigraphy, of which three are most significant: Vikrama era, Old Shaka era and Shaka era of 78 AD. Two traditions have been followed in the Indian subcontinent with respect to lunar months: Amanta tradition which ends the lunar month on no moon day, while Purnimanta tradition which ends it on full moon day.
The Amanta Amavasyanta, Mukhyamana tradition is followed by all Indian states that have a peninsular coastline except Odisha , as well as Assam and Tripura.
Odisha and all other states follow the Purnimanta Gaunamana tradition. Purnimanta tradition was being followed in the Vedic era.
It was replaced with Amanta system and in use as the Hindu calendar system prior to 1st century BCE, but the Purnimanta tradition was restarted in 57 BCE by Vikramaditya who wanted to return to the Vedic roots. This is called "Gaura Paksha" or Shukla Paksha. This is called "Vadhya Paksha" or Krishna Paksha.
The lunar months of the hot summer and the busy major cropping-related part of the monsoon season typically do not schedule major festivals. A combination of the Paksha system, and the two traditions of Amanta and Purnimanta systems, has led to alternate ways of dating any festival or event in the historic Hindu, Buddhist or Jain literature, and contemporary regional literature or festival calendars.
For example, the Hindu festival of colours called Holi falls on the first day full moon of Chaitra lunar month's dark fortnight in the Purnimanta system, while the same exact day for Holi is expressed in Amanta system as the Purnima full moon lunar day of Phalguna. The names of the solar months are also used in the Darian calendar for the planet Mars. The names of the Hindu months vary by region. Those Hindu calendars which are based on lunar cycle are generally phonetic variants of each other, while the solar cycle are generally variants of each other too, suggesting that the timekeeping knowledge travelled widely across the Indian subcontinent in ancient times.
The Tamil lunar month names are forward shifted by a month compared to Vikrami month names, in part because Tamil calendar integrates greater emphasis for the solar cycle in a manner similar to the neighboring Kerala region and it follows the Amanta system for lunar months.
This is in contrast to Vikrami calendar which keeps the Purnimanta system and emphasizes the lunar cycle. This creates a difference of about eleven days, which is offset every The twelve months are subdivided into six lunar seasons timed with the agriculture cycles, blooming of natural flowers, fall of leaves, and weather. To account for the mismatch between lunar and solar calendar, the Hindu scholars adopted intercalary months, where a particular month just repeated. The choice of this month was not random, but timed to sync back the two calendars to the cycle of agriculture and nature.
The repetition of a month created the problem of scheduling festivals, weddings and other social events without repetition and confusion. This was resolved by declaring one month as Shudha pure, clean, regular, proper, also called Deva month and the other Mala or Adhika extra, unclean and inauspicious, also called Asura masa. The Hindu mathematicians who calculated the best way to adjust the two years, over long periods of a yuga era, tables calculating of years , they determined that the best means to intercalate the months is to time the intercalary months on a year cycle.
This intercalation is generally adopted in the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 16th and 19th year of this cycle. The historic Hindu texts are not consistent on these rules, with competing ideas flourishing in the Hindu culture. The Hindu calendar makes further rare adjustments, over a cycle of centuries, where a certain month is considered kshaya month dropped. This occurs because of the complexity of the relative lunar, solar and earth movements.
Underhill describes this part of Hindu calendar theory: "when the sun is in perigee, and a lunar month being at its longest, if the new moon immediately precedes a samkranti , then the first of the two lunar months is deleted called nija or kshaya.
Just like months, the Hindu calendar has two measures of a day, one based on the lunar movement and the other on solar. A lunar day or tithi may, for example, begin in the middle of an afternoon and end next afternoon. The tithi have been the basis for timing rituals and festivals, while divasa for everyday use.
The Hindu calendars adjust the mismatch in divasa and tithi , using a methodology similar to the solar and lunar months. A Tithi is technically defined in Vedic texts, states John E. Cort , as "the time required by the combined motions of the sun and moon to increase in a bright fortnight or decrease in a dark fortnight their relative distance by twelve degrees of the zodiac. A lunar month has 30 tithi. The technical standard makes each tithi contain different number of hours, but helps the overall integrity of the calendar.
Given the variation in the length of a solar day with seasons, and moon's relative movements, the start and end time for tithi varies over the seasons and over the years, and the tithi adjusted to sync with divasa periodically with intercalation. This alignment of names probably took place sometime during the 3rd century CE.
There are many variations of the names in the regional languages, mostly using alternate names of the celestial bodies involved. The complete Vedic calendars contain five angas or parts of information: lunar day tithi , solar day diwas , asterism naksatra , planetary joining yoga and astronomical period karanam. This structure gives the calendar the name Panchangam. The Sanskrit word Yoga means "union, joining, attachment", but in astronomical context, this word means latitudinal and longitudinal information.
This sum is divided into 27 parts. These parts are called the yogas. They are labelled:. Again, minor variations may exist. The yoga that is active during sunrise of a day is the prevailing yoga for the day.
Compare with the definition of a tithi. The Vedic day begins at sunrise. The purnima of each month is synchronised with a nakshatra.
Many holidays in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina traditions are based on the lunar cycles in the lunisolar timekeeping with foundations in the Hindu calendar system. A few holidays, however, are based on the solar cycle, such as the Vaisakhi , Pongal and those associated with Sankranti. The solar cycle based ancient Hindu festivals almost always fall on the same Gregorian date every year and if they vary in an exceptional year, it is by one day. The Hindu Calendar Reform Committee, appointed in , identified more than thirty well-developed calendars, in use across different parts of India.
Variants include the lunar emphasizing Vikrama , the Shalivahana calendars, as well as the solar emphasizing Tamil calendar and Malayalam calendar. The two calendars most widely used today are the Vikrama calendar, which is in followed in western and northern India and Nepal , the Shalivahana Shaka calendar which is followed in the Deccan region of India Comprising present day Indian states of Telangana , Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka , Maharashtra , and Goa.
Calendars based on lunar cycle lunar months in solar year, lunar phase for religious dates and new year :. Calendars based on solar cycle solar months in solar year, lunar phase for religious dates but new year which falls on solar date- South and Southeast Asian solar New Year :. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main traditions. Vaishnavism Shaivism Shaktism Smartism.
Rites of passage. Philosophical schools. Gurus, saints, philosophers. Other texts. Text classification. Other topics.