The Nanakshahi (Punjabi : ਨਾਨਕਸ਼ਾਹੀ, nānakashāhī) calendar is a tropical solar calendar which is used in Sikhism and is based on the 'Barah Maha' (Punjabi : ਬਾਰਹ ਮਾਹਾ). Barah Maha was composed by the Sikh Gurus and translates as the "Twelve Months". It is a poem reflecting the changes in nature which are conveyed in the twelve-month cycle of the Year. The year begins with the month of Chet, with 1 Chet corresponding to 14 March. The first year of the Nanakshahi Calendar starts in 1469 CE: the year of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev.
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language with more than 100 million native speakers in the Indian subcontinent and around the world. It is the native language of the Punjabi people, an ethnolinguistic group of the cultural region called the Punjab, which encompasses northwest India and eastern Pakistan.
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the season or almost equivalently the apparent position of the Sun relative to the stars. The Gregorian calendar, widely accepted as standard in the world, is an example of a solar calendar. The main other type of calendar is a lunar calendar, whose months correspond to cycles of Moon phases. The months of the Gregorian calendar do not correspond to cycles of Moon phase.
Sikhism, or Sikhi, is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions and the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century, there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The Nanakshahi Calendar is named after the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev.
Sikhs have traditionally recognised two eras and luni-solar calendars: the Nanakshahi and Khalsa. Traditionally, both these calendars closely followed the Bikrami calendar with the Nanakshahi year beginning on Katak Pooranmashi (full moon) and the Khalsa year commencing with Vaisakhi.The methods for calculating the beginning of the Khalsa era were based on the Bikrami calendar. The year length was also the same as the Bikrami solar year. According to Steel (2000), (since the calendar was based on the Bikrami), the calendar has twelve lunar months that are determined by the lunar phase, but thirteen months in leap years which occur every 2–3 years in the Bikrami calendar to sync the lunar calendar with its solar counterpart. Kay (2011) abbreviates the Khalsa Era as KE.
Katak is the eighth month of the Nanakshahi calendar. This month coincides with Kartik in the Hindu calendar and the Indian national calendar, and October and November in the Gregorian and Julian calendars and is 30 days long.
Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhi is a historical and religious festival in Hinduism and Sikhism. It is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year, which commemorates the formation of Khalsa panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
References to the Nanakshahi Era have been made in historic documents.Banda Singh Bahadur adopted the Nanakshahi calendar in 1710 C.E. after his victory in Sirhind (12 May 1710 C.E.) according to which the year 1710 C.E. became Nanakshahi 241. However, Singh (2008) states the date of the victory as 14 May 1710 CE. According to Dilgeer (1997), Banda "continued adopting the months and the days of the months according to the Bikrami calendar". Banda Singh Bahadur also minted new coins also called Nanakshahi. Herrli (1993) states that "Banda is supposed to have dated his coins according to his new calendar. Although Banda may have proclaimed this era, it cannot be traced in contemporary documents and does not seem to have been actually used for dating". According to The Panjab Past and Present (1993), it is Gian Singh who "is the first to use Nanak Shahi Samvats along with those of Bikrami Samvats" in the Twarikh Guru Khalsa. According to Singha (1996), Gian Singh was a Punjabi author born in 1822. Gian Singh wrote the Twarikh Guru Khalsa in 1891.
Sirhind-Fatehgarh is a Urban city and a municipal council in Fatehgarh Sahib district in the Indian state of Punjab.
The revised Nanakshahi calendar was designed by Pal Singh Purewal to replace the Bikrami calendar.The epoch of this calendar is the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev in 1469 and the Nanakshahi year commences on 1 Chet. New Year's Day falls annually on what is 14 March in the Gregorian Western calendar. The start of each month is fixed. According to Kapel (2006), the solar accuracy of the Nanakshahi calendar is linked to the Gregorian civil calendar. This is because the Nanaskhahi calendar uses the tropical year instead of using the sidereal year which is used in the Bikrami calendar or the old Nanakshahi and Khalsa calendars.
Chet is a first month of the Nanakshahi calendar, which govern the activities within Sikhism. This month coincides with This month coincides with Chaitra in the Hindu calendar and the Indian national calendar, and March and April in the Gregorian and Julian calendars and is 31 days long. Also during this month, the second son of Guru Gobind Singh, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh was born on 9 April 1691.
New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one.
The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:
Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.
The amended Nanakshahi calendar was adopted in 1998but implemented in 2003 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee to determine the dates for important Sikh events. The calendar was implemented during the SGPC presidency of Sikh scholar Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar at Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib in the presence of Sikh leadership. Nanakshahi Calendar recognizes the adoption event, of 1999 CE, in the Sikh history when SGPC released the first calendar with permanently fixed dates in the Tropical Calendar. Therefore, the calculations of this calendar do not regress back from 1999 CE into the Bikrami era, and accurately fixes for all time in the future.
Features of the Original Nanakshahi calendar (2003 Version):
|1||Chet||ਚੇਤ||31||14 March – 13 April||Basant (Spring)|
|2||Vaisakh||ਵੈਸਾਖ||31||14 April – 14 May||Basant (Spring)|
|3||Jeth||ਜੇਠ||31||15 May – 14 June||Garikham (Summer)|
|4||Harh||ਹਾੜ||31||15 June – 15 July||Garisham (Summer)|
|5||Sawan||ਸਾਵਣ||31||16 July – 15 August||Rut Baras (Rainy season)|
|6||Bhadon||ਭਾਦੋਂ||30||16 August – 14 September||Rut Baras (Rainy season)|
|7||Assu||ਅੱਸੂ||30||15 September – 14 October||Sard (Autumn)|
|8||Katak||ਕੱਤਕ||30||15 October – 13 November||Sard (Autumn)|
|9||Maghar||ਮੱਘਰ||30||14 November – 13 December||Sisiar (Winter)|
|10||Poh||ਪੋਹ||30||14 December – 12 January||Sisiar (Winter)|
|11||Magh||ਮਾਘ||30||13 January – 11 February||Himkar (late Winter/early Spring)|
|12||Phagun||ਫੱਗਣ||30/31||12 February – 13 March||Himkar (late Winter/early Spring)|
In 2010, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee ("SGPC") modified the calendar so that the dates for the start of the months are movable so that they coincide with the Bikrami calendar and changed the dates for various Sikh festivals so they are based upon the lunar phase. This has created controversy with some bodies adopting the original 2003 version, also called the "Mool Nanakshahi Calendar"and others, the 2010 version. By 2014, the SGPC had scrapped the original Nanakshahi calendar from 2003 and reverted to the Bikrami calendar entirely, however it was still published under the name of Nanakshahi. The Sikh bodies termed it a step taken under pressure from the RSS and Shiromani Akali Dal. There is also some controversy about the acceptance of the calendar altogether among certain sectors of the Sikh world.
SGPC president, Gobind Singh Longowal, on 13 March 2018 urged all Sikhs to follow the current (2010) Nanakshahi calendar.The previous SGPC President before Longowal, Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar, tried to appeal the Akal Takht to celebrate the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh on 23 Poh (5 January) as per the original Nanakshahi calendar, but the appeal was denied. The PSGPC and a majority of the other gurdwara managements across the world are opposing the modified version of the calendar citing that the SGPC reverted to the Bikrami calendar. They argue that in the Bikrami calendar, dates of many gurpurbs coincide, thereby creating confusion among the Sikh Panth.
According to Ahaluwalia (2003), the Nanakshahi calendar goes against the use of lunar Bikrami dates by the Gurus themselves and is contradictory. It begins with the year of birth of Guru Nanak Dev, but the first date, 1 Chet, is when Guru Har Rai was installed the seventh Guru.However, the first date of the Nanakshahi calendar (1 Chet) is based upon the Barah Maha of the Guru Granth Sahib, which has Chet as the first month. Pal Singh Purewal, as reported in the Edmonton Journal (March 2018) has stated that his aims in formulating the Nanakshahi calendar were, "first and foremost, it should respect sacred holy scriptures. Second, it should discard the lunar calendar and use only a solar one. Third, all the dates should be fixed and not vary from year to year." In reality however, state Haar and Kalsi (2009), the introduction of the Nanakshahi calendar has resulted in many festivals being "celebrated on two dates depending on the choice of the management of the local gurdwaras."
The start date of the months in the current Nanakshahi calendar are not fixed.
|1||Chet||ਚੇਤ||March – April||Basant (Spring)|
|2||Vaisakh||ਵੈਸਾਖ||April – May||Basant (Spring)|
|3||Jeth||ਜੇਠ||May – June||Garikham (Summer)|
|4||Harh||ਹਾੜ||June – July||Garisham (Summer)|
|5||Sawan||ਸਾਵਣ||July – August||Rut Baras (Rainy season)|
|6||Bhadon||ਭਾਦੋਂ||August – September||Rut Baras (Rainy season)|
|7||Assu||ਅੱਸੂ||September – October||Sard (Autumn)|
|8||Katak||ਕੱਤਕ||October – November||Sard (Autumn)|
|9||Maghar||ਮੱਘਰ||November – December||Sisiar (Winter)|
|10||Poh||ਪੋਹ||December – January||Sisiar (Winter)|
|11||Magh||ਮਾਘ||January – February||Himkar (late Winter/early Spring)|
|12||Phagun||ਫੱਗਣ||February – March||Himkar (late Winter/early Spring)|
Dates of observance of festivals as determined by reference to the 2003 version.
|Festivals and events (Original Nanakshahi calendar)||Nanakshahi date||Gregorian date|
| Guru Har Rai becomes the 7th Guru |
Nanakshahi New Year Commences
|1 Chet||14 Mar|
|Guru Hargobind merges back to the Creator||6 Chet||19 Mar|
|The ordination of the Khalsa |
Birth of Guru Nanak (Vaisakhi Date)
|1 Vaisakh||14 Apr|
| Guru Angad merges back to the Creator|
Guru Amar Das becomes the 3rd Guru
Guru Harkrishan merges back to the Creator
Guru Tegh Bahadur becomes the 9th Guru
|3 Vaisakh||16 Apr|
|Birth of Guru Angad, the 2nd Guru|
Birth of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Guru
|5 Vaisakh||18 Apr|
|Birth of Guru Arjan, the 5th Guru||19 Vaisakh||2 May|
|Birth of Guru Amar Das, the 3rd Guru||9 Jeth||23 May|
|Guru Hargobind becomes the 6th Guru||28 Jeth||11 Jun|
|Guru Arjan, the 5th Guru, is martyred||2 Harh||16 Jun|
|Foundation Day of the Akaal Takht||18 Harh||16 Jun|
|Birth of Guru Hargobind, the 6th Guru||21 Harh||5 Jul|
|Miri-Piri is established by Guru Hargobind||6 Sawan||21 Jul|
|Birth of Guru Harkrishan, the 8th Guru||8 Sawan||23 Jul|
|The writing of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture, is completed||15 Bhadon||30 Aug|
|Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture, is installed at the Golden Temple for the first time||17 Bhadon||1 Sep|
| Guru Amar Das merges back to the Creator|
Guru Ram Das becomes the 4th Guru
Guru Ram Das merges back to the Creator
Guru Arjan becomes the 5th Guru
|2 Assu||16 Sep|
|Guru Angad becomes the 2nd Guru||4 Assu||18 Sep|
|Guru Nanak merges back to the Creator||8 Assu||22 Sep|
|Birth of Guru Ram Das, the 4th Guru||25 Assu||9 Oct|
| Guru Har Rai merges back to the Creator|
Guru Harkrishan becomes the 8th Guru
The Guru Granth Sahib is declared as the Guru for all times to come by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and the last human Guru
|6 Katak||20 Oct|
|Guru Gobind Singh merges back to the Creator||7 Katak||21 Oct|
|Guru Gobind Singh becomes the 10th Guru||11 Maghar||24 Nov|
|Guru Tegh Bahadur martyred in Delhi by Aurangzeb for defending the oppressed||11 Maghar||24 Nov|
|Ajit Singh, and Jujhar Singh, the two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh, martyred in the battle of Chamkaur||8 Poh||21 Dec|
|Zorawar Singh, and Fateh Singh, the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, executed in Sirhind||13 Poh||26 Dec|
|Birth of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru||23 Poh||5 Jan|
|Birth of Guru Har Rai, the 7th Guru||19 Magh||31 Jan|
Movable dates for Sikh Festivals in the 2003 and 2010 versions. (These change every year in line with the Lunar Phase)
|Year||Hola Mohalla||Bandi Chhor Divas||Birth of Guru Nanak Dev|
|2003||19 Mar||25 Oct||8 Nov|
|2004||7 Mar||12 Nov||26 Nov|
|2005||26 Mar||1 Nov||15 Nov|
|2006||15 Mar||21 Oct||5 Nov|
|2007||4 Mar||9 Nov||24 Nov|
|2008||22 Mar||28 Oct||13 Nov|
|2009||11 Mar||17 Oct||2 Nov|
|2010||1 Mar||5 Nov||21 Nov|
|2011||20 Mar||26 Oct||10 Nov|
|2012||9 Mar||13 Nov||28 Nov|
|2013||28 Mar||3 Nov||17 Nov|
|2014||17 Mar||23 Oct||6 Nov|
|2015||6 Mar||11 Nov||25 Nov|
|2016||24 Mar||30 Oct||14 Nov|
|2017||13 Mar||19 Oct||4 Nov|
|2018||2 Mar||7 Nov||23 Nov|
|2019||21 Mar||27 Oct||12 Nov|
|2020||10 Mar||14 Nov||30 Nov|
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