Indian Civil Calendar


August 13, 2022

The civil calendar was developed in India in 1950-1955 of the 20th century, and was adopted from March 22, 1957. It is sometimes called the Saka calendar, and it is also used on Fr. Java and Bali among Indonesian Hindus.

History and Background

The modern population of India is characterized by a large number of tribes and peoples who speak more than 200 languages. In the past, each tribe developed its own calendar. Therefore, until recently, about 35 different calendars, mostly solar and lunar, were used to determine holidays. The complexity of the calendar systems turned out to be so significant that the Indian government was forced to reform and introduce the Unified National Calendar. For this purpose, in November 1952, under the leadership of Professor Meghnad Saha, the most prominent scientist in this field, a special committee on calendar reform was created. In a message to this committee, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: “It is always difficult to change the calendar to which people are accustomed. An attempt must, however, be made to change it, although these changes cannot at the present time be quite as complete as might be desired. In any case, the confusion that exists in Indian calendars should be eliminated."

Principles of formation

The basis of the new calendar is the Saka era, which was widely used for two millennia in many Indian calendar systems. The year 1892 of the Saka era corresponds to the time from March 22, 1970 to March 21, 1971 of our calendar. The length of the year is equal to the length of the tropical year, i.e. 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds. A civil calendar year in a normal year contains 365 days, and in a leap year - 366. The year begins on the day following the vernal equinox, corresponding to the first day of the month of Chaitra. In a leap year, it coincides with March 21, and in a lean year with March 22. A year consists of 12 months. In it, in leap years, the first six months have 31 days each, and the last have 30 days. In a simple year, the first month consists of 30 days. The following rule is used to determine a leap year: the number 78 must be added to the year of the Saka era, and if the resulting sum is divisible by 4 without a remainder, then the year is a leap year. So, the year 1890 of the Saka era, corresponding to 1968-1969, i. it satisfies the given rule, �