Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Here is a Bengali calendar showing some, mainly hindu religious, events following the Gupta press tradition. If you are on a Mac before Mountain Lion, you may need to install Bengali to see this correctly.

Bengali Calendar (বাংলা ক্যালেণ্ডার)

According to some traditions, on the bengali new year (1 vaizAkha; guptapress) of san 1409 that started on 15 April 2002 AD, Indian national 25 caitra 1924, assamese bhAskarAbda 1 vahAg 1409, faslI (this starts on bhAdra kRSNA pratipada) 18 cait 1409, saMvat 3 caitra su 2059 (caitrAdi, kArttikAdi would be 2058), heijri 1 safar 1423, and in Amli 1409 (this starts on bhAdra shuklA dvAdashI) magI 1364, tripurAbda 1412, caitanyAbda 516, kAmrUpiYa zrIzaGkabda 553, zrIbuddhAbda 2545, mahAvIra nirvANabda 2528, nimbArkAbda 5097, nAnakAbda 533, we were in the 5104th year of the current kaliyuga, which is only a small part of the current caturyuga (43,20,000 years: the traditional Indian counting system groups in successive hundreds after the first thousands), and were in the 1,97,29,49,075th year of the current svetavarAhakalpa (lasting 4,32,00,00,000 years). Alternatively, from the traditional sUryyasiddhAnta beginning of counting on a spring equinox on saturday, 7,14,40,41,60,541 days had passed before this year started. Also, 1,50,122 days had passed since another starting point (gauD.IYa dinavRnda; ayanAMza 22.32.41.40; vIjAMza 1.42.3.36).

Be that as it may, the common Bengalee calendar era, usually called san (সন) or baGgAbda (বঙ্গাব্দ), effectively counts from 594 A.D., which would be about the time shashAGka (শশাঙ্ক) was ruling in Bengal; but that is, in all likelihood, coincidental: no known historical event of his reign falls on that date. It is possible that bhASkaravarmaNa (ভাস্করবর্মা) of prAgjyotiSapura (প্রাগ্জ্যোতিষপুর) ascended to the throne on that year and led to the bhAskarabda (ভাস্করাব্দ) still used in Assam; and this may have influenced the Bengali choice. However, it is usually considered to be an adaptation of the tArikh ilAhi (তারিখ ইলাহি) calendar introduced by akbar in 1584 A.D. (10/11 March of the 29th year of his reign is probably in 1585?: it is certainly 992 Anno Heijira): to arrive at the era he started his solar calendar such that in his year of ascension to the mughal throne (10th of Rabi 'ul Awal of 963 A.H., 1556 A.D., shaka 1479, vikrama samvat 1614) the san was the same as the heijira (and the lunar vaishAkha was essentially the same as the first month of the muslim new year, muharram). Though the tArikh ilAhi calendar—with the months Karwadin, Ardi, Vihisu, Khordad, Teer, Amardad, Shahriar, Aban, Azur, Dai, Baham and Iskander Miz, after (it looks like current Ordibehesht is split into two, and current Mihr is missing in the previous list: need to check) the Persian month names which currently are Farvardīn فروردین (‘guardian angel,’ related to Farevashi, guardians of humans), Ordībehesht اردیبهشت (‘ultimate rightness,’ related to Asha Vahishta, lord of fire and noontime heat), Khordåd خرداد (‘wholeness,’ related to Haurvatat, protector of waters), Tīr تیر (‘swift one,’ related to Tishtrya, lord of scribe), Mordad مرداد (‘immortality,’ related to Ameretat, supporter of plant life), Shahrīvar شهریور (‘desirable dominion,’ related to Khashtra Vairya, lord of sky, stone, metals, warriors, and protector of the weak), Mehr مهر (‘loyalty,’ related to Mithra, yazata of the covenant), Åbån آبان (‘waters,’ related to Apas, protector Eyzad of the waters), Åzar آذر (‘fire,’ related to Atar/Adur, yazata of fire), Dey دی (‘creator,’ related to dadar), Bahman بهمن (‘good purpose,’ related to Vohu Manah, protector of animals and cosmic order), and Esfand اسپند (‘holy devotion,’ related to Spenta Armaiti, protector of mother earth, guardian o herdsmen and farmers)—died out soon, the corresponding Bengali calendar (fasli) maintained the same era, though it was based on sUryya siddhAnta (as was the shaka calendar which formed the basis of it and the Indian National Calendar used today), and the number of days in the months vary from year to year as explained below. Obviously, being a solar calendar, it diverged from the hejira, a completely lunar calendar, by about 1 year every 33 years, so that in 1407 san, it was 1421 hijri.

Being a truly solar calendar, the number of days in a month is not fixed conventionally. The ecliptic (the apparent path of the sun, moon, and the planets in the sky: as their orbits are roughly coplanar, they describe a band across the sky) is divided into 27 nakSatras ((নক্ষত্র); each 13 degrees 20 minutes) and 12 rASis ((রাশি); each 30 degrees). The nakSatras—3 kRttikA (কৃত্তিকা), 4 rohiNI (রোহিণী) = brAhmI (ব্রাহ্মী), 5 mRgazIrA (মৃগশীরা) = AgrahAYaNI (অগ্রহায়ণী), 6 ArdrA (আর্দ্রা), 7 punarvasU (পুনর্বসূ) = yAmakau (যমকৌ), 8 puSYA (পুষ্যা) = sidhyA (সিধ্যা) = tiSyA (তিষ্যা), 9 AshleSA (আশ্লেষা), 10 maghA (মঘা), 11 pUrva phalgunI (পূর্বফাল্গুনী), 12 uttara phalgunI (উত্তরফাল্গুনী), 13 hasta (হস্তা), 14 citrA (চিত্রা), 15 svAtI (স্বাতী), 16 vishAkha (বিশাখা) = rAdhA (রাধা), 17 anurAdhA (অনুরাধা), 18 jyeSTha (জ্যেষ্ঠা), 19 mUla (মূলা), 20 pUrvASADh.A (পূর্বাষাঢ়া), 21 uttarASADh.A (উত্তরাষাঢ়া), 22 shravaNa (শ্রবণা), 23 shraviSThA (শ্রবিষ্ঠা) = dhaniSThA (ধনিষ্ঠা), 24 shatabhishak (শতভিষক্‌), 25 pUrva bhadrapada (পূর্বভদ্রপদ) = pUrva proSThapAda (পূর্বপ্রোষ্ঠপদ), 26 uttara bhadrapada (উত্তরভদ্রপদ) = uttara proSThapAda (উত্তরপ্রোষ্ঠপদ), 27 revatI (রেবতী), 1 ashvinI (অশ্বিনী), 2 bharaNI (ভরণী)—are named after a prominent star cluster within it (sometimes, a twenty-eighth nakSatra, abhijit (অভিজিত্‍), is named just before shravaNa), and the rASis—0 meSa (মেষ) = Aries, 1 vRSava (বৃষভ) = Taurus, 2 mithuna (মিথুন) = Gemini, 3 karkaTa (কর্কট) = Cancer, 4 siMha (সিংহ) = Leo, 5 kanyA (কন্যা) = Virgo, 6 tulA (তুলা) = Libra, 7 vRshcika (বৃষ্চিক) = Scorpio, 8 dhanuH (ধনুঃ) = Sagittarius, 9 makara (মকর) = Capricorn, 10 kumbha (কুম্ভ) = Aquarius, 11 mIna (মীন) = Pisces—after a prominent constellation. The beginning and end of a month is decided by the apparent position of the sun within this zodiac (each month lasting 30 degrees), or rather by using formulae for calculating the same. The major beginning of this system of calculation in India, probably of sumerian origin, goes back to the fifth century sUryya siddhAnta (সূর্য্যসিদ্ধান্ত), corrected in bengal by raghunandana's (রঘুনন্দন) aSTaviMshatitattva (অষ্টবিংশতিতত্ব) and by rAghavAnanda cakravartti's (রাঘবানন্দ চক্রবর্ত্তী) siddhAnta rahasya (সিদ্ধান্তরহস্য) and dinacandrikA (দিনচন্দ্রিকা) dating to 1591 and 1599 AD respectively. Today this has drifted from the true positions by some five or six hours on average, and this sometimes interacts with intercalary months in the religious calendar leading to the same festival being celebrated a month apart. Fortunately, everyone agrees as to the date in the non-religious one up to variation of one in the date, and the traditional formula—used by the gupta press panjika (গুপ্তপ্রেস পঞ্জিকা)—is in far more common use than the more accurate one—used by the vishuddha siddhAnta paJjikA (বিশুদ্ধসিদ্ধান্ত পঞ্জিকা) promulgated in 1890 AD—that follows the dRk siddhAnta (দৃক্‌‌সিদ্ধান্ত): so named because of the guiding principle that calculational rules must be modified to match observations. It is perhaps unfortunate that the official government attitude (as demonstrated in announcing dates for the religious festivals, for example: the bengali dates are actually rarely used in official documents) has followed this popular usage, whereas two of the major newspapers and an associated publishing house has moved over to the more accurate system.

This system (i.e. a siderial year, currently consisting of 365.256363004 mean solar days on January 1.5, 2000) keeps the seasons in synchronization with the months (which defines the tropical year consisting of about 365.242189669781 − 6.161870 × 10−6 T − 6.44 × 10−10 T2 days, where T is in centuries of 365.25 ephemeris day Julian years from January 1.5, 2000, which a different source gives as 365.242190402 mean solar days on the same date; and forming the basis of the Gregorian calendar), except for a small detail: the axis of rotation of the earth precesses by about 1 nakSatra every 960 years (or roughly by one month every two millenia). Incidentally, other possible choices of the year which take into account the nutation of the axis (that does not affect the mean length of the year: the axial tilt moves between 21.5° and 24.5° in a 41000 year cycle), precession of the orbit (that defines a different, ‘anomalistic’ year: The 26000 year axial precession leads to the slightly faster 21000 year relative precession of the axis and the orbit), the change of the eccentricity of the orbit (between 0.005 and 0.058 in various cycles: 413000 year, 136000 year, and 95000 year periods), and the orbital inclination (This has a 70000–100000 year period) have no effect on the seasons. In the different Indian traditions, attempt has been made to start the year (and the counting of the nakSatras) near one of the equinoxes—this lead to the ‘first’ nakSatra marking the vernal equinox shifting back from mRgashIra to rohiNI to kRttika, and ultimately to the current usual counting starting with ashvinI (and, correspondingly as explained below, the current hindu calendar starts in caitra). (Actually, as explained later, a solar month is named after the amAnta lunar month which begins in it, which, in turn is named after the naKsatra which coincides with the full moon in it, and so the nakSatra that ‘marks’ the vernal equinox is after it by upto about 15°.)

As the apparent speed of the sun varies during the year (currently faster during the current winter in the northern hemisphere), and also slightly from year to year, the number of days in a month varies between 29 and 32 days. Usually now, the northern hemisphere winter months are 30 days and the summer months are 31 days each.

To summarize, as described in the table below, the months of the year (vaishAkha, jyaiSTha, ASADh.a, shrAvaNa, bhAdra, Ashvina, kArttika, agrahAYaNa, pauSa, mAgha, phAlguna, caitra) (বৈশাখ, জ্যৈষ্ঠ, আষাঢ়, শ্রাবণ, ভাদ্র, আশ্বিন, কার্ত্তিক, অগ্রহায়ণ, পৌষ, মাঘ, ফাল্গুন, চৈত্র) are unequal in length and are named after twelve of the naKSatras, the months were originally named by a neighbouring nakSatra when the moon was full (the first listed naKSatra, kRttikA, corresponds to the seventh month because sun and moon are on opposite sides during the full moon). vaishAkha starts on that day (always counted sunrise to sunrise) on whose sunrise the apparent sun's longitude is first past 23 degrees and 15 minutes (thus entering meSa); its being the first month of the year might have been the original shaka calendar tradition or influenced by the tArikh ilAhi, and reinforced by the tradition of siddhArtha gautama buddha having been born on the full moon of the amAnta lunar vaishAkha (though that date sometimes falls in the solar jaiSTha); the month is also related to his attaining enlightenment and death, as also to the birth of mahavIra jaina. The months are always a whole number of days, but they vary from year to year in length. Similarly, their correspondence with the Gregorian calendar also varies from year to year; though the overall drift is small (about 1 day every 71 years) because it is the difference between sidereal and tropical year, which is very small. Over the years, the difference, however, does build up; and the correspondence between the months and seasons has to be reworked. Thus, the six seasons—Hot grISma (গ্রীষ্ম), Rainy varSA (বর্ষা), Ripening sharat (শরত্‍), Frosty hemanta (হেমন্ত), Frozen shIta (শীত), and Brilliant vasanta (বসন্ত)—are associated with pairs of months, but whether the sequence starts in vaishAkha (more common in bengal today) or jyaiSTha varies according to tradition. Note that bengal is actually in the tropical monsoon region, and the names of the cold months are merely etymological—most people will think of and translate shIta as cold rather than frozen!

As an example, currently (i.e. when the page was first written in Feb 2000), the Bengalee year is 1406. The number of days in each month, and when they started (relative to the Gregorian calendar) are stated below for this year and two years preceding (others have been added since this was written). The difference between the two prevalent calculational systems explained above this year is that according to vishuddha siddhAnta, Ashvina and mAgha each have 30 days each, so the dates in kArttika, agrahAYaNa, pauSa and mAgha are shifted by one day each. Remember though that the day starts at sunrise: so 1 AM on 15 Apr 1999 is still 1 AM 30 caitra 1405 according to Bengalee counting. However, 6 AM on 15 Apr 1999, the new year has already started. For keeping time within the day, the use of the common system (with the clock counting in hours from the usual conventional midnight or midday) is the one in common use; in the traditional system, sunrise to sunrise divided into 60 ghaTis (1 ghaTi = 1 daNDa = 60 pala = 3600 vipala = 216000 anupala), or the same approximately 24 hours being divided into 8 yAmas=praharas of 3 hours each and 30 muhUrtas of 48 minutes each. The definitions of the smaller units, 1 muhUrta = 2 nAD.ika = 30 kalA, 1 kalA = 30 kASThA, 1 kASThA = 15 nimeSa, have been considerably variable (kalA has also been 1/60 of a muhUrta, 1/360th of a muhUrta, 10/201 of a muhUrta or 1/903 of 24hours; kASThA has sometimes been 1/12, 1/15 or 1/124 of a kalA instead; kalA has also been called laghu, nAD.ikA has been 1/6 or 1/7 a prahara; vikalA has been 1/60 of a kala or a daNDa; some of this is due to astronomy confounding units of angle and time) over time and find mention in some common phrases and religious ceremony. Similarly, the subannual divisions, as well as the time units larger than a year (yUga, kalpa and manvAntara, and the pitR, deva and brAhma years) are quite irrelevant here.

It is very likely that the Surya-Siddhanta calendar available on the web uses the same calculation as this. The data here is from the actual panjikas. At that site, one can find calendars for various Bengali years, and there is also a date converter that can replace this table. All the yearly panjikas till date (in bengali year 1419) are also available. If you have javascript enabled, you can get the panjika for a given year by filling just the year number in the box and hitting enter:
The month names are abbreviated here. See list above for full names. The beginning of the Bengalee month is sunrise of the Gregorian date listed under it, and its length is shown next to the date. Note that the Gregorian year changes in the middle of the row: paUSa starts in the Gregorian year on the left margin and ends in the one on the right margin.
vai jyai AshA shrA bhA Ashvi kA agra pau mA phA cai
বৈশাখ জ্যৈষ্ঠ আষাঢ় শ্রাবণ ভাদ্র আশ্বিন কার্ত্তিক অগ্রহায়ণ পৌষ মাঘ ফাল্গুন চৈত্র
Average length 30.931.3 31.531.4 31.030.5 30.029.6 29.429.5 29.930.3
13601953 14 Apr3115 May31 15 Jun3217 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1954
13611954 14 Apr 1955
13621955 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1956
13631956 14 Apr3115 May31 15 Jun3217 Jul31 17 Aug3117 Sep31 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1957
13641957 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1958
13651958 14 Apr 1959
13661959 1960
13671960 17 Jul 1961
13681961 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1962
13691962 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1963
13701963 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1964
13711964 14 Apr 1965
13721965 1966
13731966 15 Apr3015 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1967
13741967 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1968
13751968 14 Apr 17 Jul 1969
13761969 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 1970
13771970 15 Apr3015 May32 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1971
13781971 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1972
13791972 14 Apr3115 May31 15 Jun3217 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1973
13801973 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 1974
13811974 15 Apr3015 May32 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1975
13821975 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb 15 Mar30 1976
13831976 14 Apr 1977
13841977 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 1978
13851978 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1979
13861979 14 Apr 1980
13871980 1981
13881981 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 1982
13891982 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 1983
13901983 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1984
13911984 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1985
13921985 14 Apr 1986
13931986 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 1987
13941987 15 Apr 19 Oct 1988
13951988 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov29 16 Dec3015 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1989
13961989 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1990
13971990 15 Apr 1991
13981991 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb2915 Mar30 1992
13991992 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 1993
14001993 14 Apr 1994
14011994 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 1995
14021995 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3219 Sep30 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 1996
14031996 14 Apr 1997
14041997 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 1998
14051998 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 1999
14061999 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 2000
14072000 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar30 2001
14082001 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 2002
14092002 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2003
14102003 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 2004
14112004 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 2005
14122005 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb2915 Mar31 2006
14132006 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2007
14142007 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul32 19 Aug3119 Sep30 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 2008
14152008 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 2009
14162009 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2010
14172010 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2011
14182011 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul32 19 Aug3119 Sep30 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3015 Mar30 2012
14192012 14 Apr3115 May32 16 Jun3117 Jul32 18 Aug3118 Sep30 18 Oct3017 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan29 13 Feb3015 Mar31 2013
14202013 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct2917 Nov30 17 Dec2915 Jan30 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2014
14212014 15 Apr3116 May31 16 Jun3218 Jul31 18 Aug3118 Sep31 19 Oct3018 Nov29 17 Dec3016 Jan29 14 Feb3016 Mar30 2015
14222015 15 Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 2016
বৈশাখ জ্যৈষ্ঠ আষাঢ় শ্রাবণ ভাদ্র আশ্বিন কার্ত্তিক অগ্রহায়ণ পৌষ মাঘ ফাল্গুন চৈত্র
vai jye AshA shrA bhA Ashvi kA agra pau mA phA cai

The current calendar also uses the seven day week standard all over the world. The origins of these goes back to the ancient Egyptians, who ordered the five visible planets along with the sun and the moon into the ‘Chaldean order’: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon in increasing order of their apparent speed or ‘skittishness’ (see here for a nice animation of the ‘Dance of the planets’), which was probably considered as the decreasing order of their steady influence. In the duodecimal system in use then, the daytime and the nighttime were each divided into a dozen periods (this ultimately gave us the 24 hours in a day), each presided in sequence by one of these ‘planets’. The first period of light on each successive day was, thus, presided over by the cycle of planets: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus; and this is the order used for the names of the days of the week. Except, of course, the names for the weekdays, called vAra (বার, from the root vR, to choose, meaning the chosen day), used are Bengali with Sanskrit etymologies: shani (শনি, probably ultimately from the root sham, to work or fatigue, whence to be calm; this probably refers to the slow movement), ravi (রবি, said to be from ru, to roar, but probably connected with a lost rash, to weave, because of the common metaphor of a woven rope for rays), soma (সোম, from the root su, to press, it originally meant juice; but the milky drop of the common libation became a popular metaphor for the moon), maGgala (মঙ্গল, from a root maGg to move, it may have originally meant fast mover, but the attested meaning is blessed), budha (বুধ, from a root for perception, meaning awaking), bRhaspati (বৃহস্পতি, from the roots bRh to speak, whence prayer and pat, to master; meaning lord of prayers), and shukra (শুক্র, from root shuc, to shine, meaning shining). The week, however, conventionally starts with Sunday rather than Saturday as listed here.

For religious purposes, a luni-solar calendar is also used (and this is the so-called Hindu Calendar whose vikrama/mAlava/kRta sam.vatsara era starts in 58 B.C., not clear why. It may conceivably be related to Azes I.), which usually starts in caitra (and hence called caitrAdi; some jains follow a kArttikadi vikrama samvat in adition to the kArttikAdi vIraa nirvANa samvat starting with the traditional date of the death of mahAvIra jaina on kArttika amAvaSyA of 528 BC). In this calendar, months are synodic, i.e. determined by the phases of the moon (Actually, the angular distance between the sun and the moon as seen from the earth; typically amAnta or ending with the new moon, but, sometimes, purNimAnta, i.e. with the full moon), with an intercalary, mala or decayed, month, (মল মাস) introduced whenever two lunar months start in the same solar month, the name of the first of them is prefixed adhika, and is intercalary. Otherwise, a lunar month is named the same as the solar month in which it begins. In this luni-solar calendar the start and end of the days, or tithi (তিথি), are defined by requiring that the distance between the sun and the moon change by 12 degrees; so their actual length is between 20 and 27 hours. The tithis in a given month are named from shuklA (শুক্লা) (meaning bright) 1 through shuklA 15 and then kRSNA (কৃষ্ণা) (meaning dark) 1 through kRSNA 15. The 14 days of each half, or paKSa (পক্ষ) (literally flank), other than the new moon, amAvasyA (অমাবস্যা) (dwelling together) that ends the kRSNa paKSa or full moon, or pUrNimA (পূর্ণিমা) (fullness), that ends the shukla paKSa are usually referred to by the bengalee versions of the Sanskrit feminine ordinals: pratipada (প্রতিপদ) (this word is an exception and does not mean first; in saMskRta it meant beginning or entrance), dvitIYA (দ্বিতীয়া), tritIYA (তৃতীয়া), caturthI (চতুর্থী), paJcamI (পঞ্চমী), SaSThI (ষষ্ঠী), saptamI (সপ্তমী), aSTamI (অষ্টমী), navamI (নবমী), dashamI (দশমী), ekAdasI (একাদশী), dvAdasI (দ্বাদশী), traYodasI (ত্রয়োদশী), and caturddasI (চতুর্দ্দশী). When solar days are named by a tithi, it refers to the tithi at sun rise. Religious ceremonies also take into account the nAkSatra (নাক্ষত্র) month (siderial lunar month determined by position of the moon in the zodiac).

Note that the Bengalee calendar is different from the Indian national calendar (established on Mar 22, 1957) which uses the same names for the months, and which is the official calendar all over India, including Bengal. That calendar always has 31 days in the months of vaisAkha through bhAdra, 30 days in Ashvina through phAlguna and 30/31 days in caitra depending on whether it is a leap year. The leap years of this calendar are synchronized with the leap years of the Gregorian calendar. It starts on the first of caitra which is March 22 of the Gregorian calendar (Mar 21st in a leap year), and uses the shaka/shAlivAhana varSa (শক/শালিবাহন বর্ষ) era starting in 78 A.D (may be related to kaniSka's accession to throne).

In addition, there are completely lunar calendars used by the muslims (the heijira calendar with the months muharram (محرم, মহরম, meaning forbidden), safar (صفر, শফর, meaning related to empty), rab'i al-awwal (ربيع الأول, রবি উল আউল, meaning beginning of the quarter/spring), rab'i al-thani/akhira (ربيع الثاني, রবি অল সানি, meaning repeat/second or end of the quarter/spring), jumada al-oula (جمادى الأولى, জমাদা অল আউল, meaning beginning of the freeze), jumada al-akhira/thani (جمادى الآخرة, জমাদা অল সানি, meaning end of the freeze), rajab (رجب, রজব, meaning feared/revered), sha'ban (شعبان, শাবান, meaning related to disperse), ramadan (رمضان, রমজান, meaning scorched), shawwal (شوال, শওয়াল, meaning related to rise), dhu al-q'adah (ذو القعدة, জেল্কদ, meaning the one of sitting), and dhu al-hijjah (ذو الحجة, জেলহজ্জ, meaning the one of pilgrimage)) and the vaiSNavas (followers of Shri Chaitanya) in bengal, the amAnta months in the latter—viSNu, madhusUdana, trivikrama, vAmaNa, shrIdhara, hRSikesha, padmanAbha, dAmodara, keshava, nAraYaNa, mAdhava, govinda (worker বিষ্ণু, killing demon of honey/mead মধুসূদন, three steps ত্রিবিক্রম, dwarf বামণ, holding flame=fortune শ্রীধর, master of senses—perhaps originally thrilled=bristled hair—হৃষীকেশ, lotus at point of bursting=navel পদ্মনাভ, subduer=rope at belly দামোদর, with hair কেশব, son of man নারায়ণ, related to honey/mead=spring or descendant of madhu=honey/mead মাধব, cow finder গোবিন্দ)—are named after the many names of viSNu. But even when they use the same names for the months, the calendars used in India differ due to the use of solar versus lunisolar, the different corrections put into the formulae which determines the asronomical events defining the months, the year beginning on different months, and their eras (i.e. the year 1) being different. However, the tradition of luni-solar calendars is very old: indications dating back to the Vedic period can be found, though details are available only from a few centuries B.C. A related tradition gave the parsees in India their version of the luni-solar calendar, which, however, is drifting fast because the tradition of leap years was stopped a long time back. The solar calendars, as mentioned above. are of later origin.

Valid HTML 4.0! Valid CSS!