The Hindu Calendar
The Hindu calendar created by King Vikramaditya is known as the Vikram Samvat (or Vikrami Era) calendar. It is believed to have been established by the legendary Indian king Vikramaditya around 57 BCE, and is widely used in various parts of India, especially in northern India.
The Vikram Samvat calendar is a lunar calendar, which means it is based on the cycles of the moon. It has 12 lunar months, and each month begins with a new moon. The calendar is based on the sidereal year, which is the time taken by the earth to complete one orbit around the sun with respect to the fixed stars. The calendar also incorporates solar movements, including the movements of the sun and the planets.
The Vikram Samvat calendar is used for both religious and secular purposes. It is used to determine the dates of important Hindu festivals and auspicious occasions, as well as for administrative purposes such as determining the dates of official holidays and government events. The calendar is also used in traditional astrology and horoscope-making.
The calendar has been modified over time, with changes made to the length of the year and the names of the months. However, the basic structure and principles of the calendar have remained largely unchanged since its creation by King Vikramaditya.
The 12 lunar months of the Vikram Samvat calendar are as follows:
Chaitra Vaisakha Jyaistha Ashadha Shravana Bhadrapada Ashvina Kartika Agrahayana Pausa Magha Phalguna
The months of the Vikram Samvat calendar are named after various natural phenomena, deities and festivals of the Hindu religion. Each month has its own significance and is associated with different Hindu festivals and rituals.
The first month of the calendar is called Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April, and it marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. This month is considered auspicious and important, and is associated with the festival of Navratri, which celebrates the divine feminine energy of Goddess Durga.
The second month is Vaisakha, which falls in April or May, and is associated with the festival of Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered a highly auspicious day for new beginnings and investments.
The months of Jyaistha, Ashadha and Shravana fall in the months of May, June and July respectively, and are associated with the monsoon season in India. These months are significant for farmers and are associated with the cultivation of crops.
Bhadrapada, the sixth month, falls in August or September, and is associated with the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, which celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Ashvina, the seventh month, falls in September or October, and is associated with the festival of Navratri, which celebrates the divine feminine energy of Goddess Durga.
Kartika, the eighth month, falls in October or November, and is associated with the festival of Diwali, which is the festival of lights and celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
Agrahayana, the ninth month, falls in November or December, and is associated with the festival of Karthik Purnima, which is a festival of light and celebrates the birth of Lord Kartikeya.
Pausa, the tenth month, falls in December or January, and is associated with the festival of Makar Sankranti, which is a harvest festival and celebrates the transition of the sun into Capricorn.
Magha, the eleventh month, falls in January or February, and is associated with the festival of Maha Shivaratri, which celebrates the divine masculine energy of Lord Shiva.
Phalguna, the twelfth and final month of the Vikram Samvat calendar, falls in February or March, and is associated with the festival of Holi, which celebrates the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil.
Overall, the Vikram Samvat calendar is an important part of the Hindu religion and culture, and its months and festivals reflect the rich diversity and traditions of India.