Thai solar calendar

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A panel from a typical calendar, showing the month of August 2004 (B.E. 2547). Note that lunar dates are also provided. August2004rs.png
A panel from a typical calendar, showing the month of August 2004 (B.E. 2547). Note that lunar dates are also provided.

The Thai solar calendar (Thai : ปฏิทินสุริยคติ, RTGS: patithin suriyakhati, "solar calendar") was adopted by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1888 CE as the Siamese version of the Gregorian calendar, replacing the Thai lunar calendar as the legal calendar in Thailand (though the latter is still also used, especially for traditional and religious events). Years are now counted in the Buddhist Era (B.E.): พุทธศักราช, พ.ศ., ( RTGS: Phutthasakkarat) which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar.

Contents

Years

The Siamese generally used two calendars, a sacred and a popular (vulgar in the classical sense). The vulgar or minor era (จุลศักราช, chula sakarat) was thought to have been instituted when the worship of Gautama was first introduced, [1] [2] and corresponds to the traditional Burmese calendar (abbreviated ME or BE, the latter not to be confused with the abbreviation for the Buddhist Era, which is the sacred era.)

Rattanakosin Era

King Chulalongkorn decreed a change in vulgar reckoning to the Rattanakosin Era (รัตนโกสินทรศก, Rattanakosin Sok abbreviated ร.ศ. and R.S.) in 1889 CE. The epoch (reference date) for Year 1 was 6 April 1782 with the accession of Rama I, the foundation of the Chakri Dynasty, and the founding of Bangkok (Rattanakosin) as capital. To convert years in R.S. to the Common Era, add 1781 for dates from 6 April to December, and 1782 for dates from January to 5 April.

Buddhist Era

In Thailand the sacred, or Buddhist Era, is reckoned to have an epochal year 0 from 11 March 543 BC, believed to be the date of the death of Gautama Buddha. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) changed year counting to this Buddhist Era (abbreviated BE) and moved the start of the year back to 1 April in 2455 BE, 1912 CE. As there is no longer any reference to a vulgar or popular era, the Common Era may be presumed to have taken the place of the former.

New year

New Year, the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count is incremented, originally coincided with the date calculated for Songkran, when the Sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac as reckoned by sidereal astrology: thus the year commenced on 11 April 1822. [1] As previously noted, Rama VI moved the start of the year back to 1 April in 2455 BE, 1912 CE, so that 130 R.S. only lasted for 356 days from 11 April 1911 to 31 March 1912.

On 6 September 1940, Prime Minister Phibunsongkhram decreed [3] 1 January 1941 as the start of the year 2484 BE, so year 2483 BE had only nine months running from 1 April to 31 December 1940. To convert dates from 1 January to 31 March prior to that year, the number to add or subtract is 542; otherwise, it is 543. Example:

Month1–34–67–910–121–34–67–910–121–34–67–910–121–34–67–910–12
CE1939194019411942
BE24812482248324842485
Thai Month10–121–34–67–910–121–34–67–91–34–67–910–121–34–67–910–12

Today, both the Common Era New Year's Day (1 January) and the traditional Thai New Year (สงกรานต์, Songkran) celebrations (13–15 April) are public holidays in Thailand. In the traditional Thai calendar, the change to the next Chinese zodiacal animal occurs at Songkran (now fixed at 13 April.) [4] For Thai Chinese communities in Thailand, however, the Chinese calendar determines the day that a Chinese New Year begins, and assumes the name of the next animal in the twelve-year animal cycle.

Months

Names of the months derive from Hindu astrology names for the signs of the zodiac. Thirty-day-month names end in -ayon (-ายน), from Sanskrit root āyana : the arrival of; 31-day-month names end in -akhom (-าคม), from Sanskrit āgama (cognate to English "come") that also means the arrival of.

February's name ends in -phan (-พันธ์), from Sanskrit bandha : "fettered" or "bound". The day added to February in a solar leap year is Athikasuratin (อธิกสุรทิน, respelled to aid pronunciation (อะทิกะสุระทิน) from Sanskrit adhika : additional; sura : move). [5]

Months
English nameThai nameAbbr.Thai PronunciationSanskrit word Zodiac sign
Januaryมกราคมม.ค.mákàraa-khom, mókkàraa-khom makara "sea-monster" Capricorn
Februaryกุมภาพันธ์ก.พ.kumphaa-phan kumbha "pitcher, water-pot" Aquarius
Marchมีนาคมมี.ค.miinaa-khommīna "(a specific kind of) fish" Pisces
Aprilเมษายนเม.ย.meesaǎ-yonmeṣa "ram" Aries
Mayพฤษภาคมพ.ค.phrɯ́tsaphaa-khomvṛṣabha "bull" Taurus
Juneมิถุนายนมิ.ย.míthùnaa-yonmithuna "a pair" Gemini
Julyกรกฎาคมก.ค.kàrákàdaa-khomkarkaṭa "crab" Cancer
Augustสิงหาคมส.ค.sǐnghǎa-khomsinha "lion" Leo
Septemberกันยายนก.ย.kanyaa-yonkanyā "girl" Virgo
Octoberตุลาคมต.ค.tùlaa-khomtulā "balance" Libra
Novemberพฤศจิกายนพ.ย.phrɯ́tsacìkaa-yonvṛścika "scorpion" Scorpio
Decemberธันวาคมธ.ค.thanwaa-khomdhanu "bow, arc" Sagittarius

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Crawfurd, John (21 August 2006) [1830]. "Chapter I". Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-general of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China. Volume 2 (2nd ed.). London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley. p. 32. OCLC   3452414. The Siamese year does not commence with the first month, but corresponds with that of the Chinese. In the year 1822, the new year fell on 11 April, being the 5th day of the dark half of the moon.... The Siamese have two epochs, or, as they describe them, Sa-ka-rat. The sacred one dates from the death of Gautama, and the year which commenced on 11 April 1822, was the year 2365, according to this reckoning.
  2. Roberts, Edmund (2007) [1837]. "Chapter XX―Division of Time". Embassy to the Eastern courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat : in the U. S. sloop-of-war Peacock ... during the years 1832-3-4 (Digital ed.). Harper & brothers. p. 310. The Siamese have two epochs, sacred and popular. The sacred era dates from the death of Gautama, and the year 1833 corresponded to the 2376 year. The vulgar era was instituted when the worship of Gautama was first introduced; and the year 1833 corresponded with the year 1194, and was the fifth, or Dragon year.
  3. พระราชบัญญัติปีปฏิทิน พุทธศักราช ๒๔๘๓ (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 57 (0 ก): 419. 17 September 1940.
  4. J.C. Eade. The calendrical systems of mainland southeast asia. E.J. Brill, Leiden. p. 22. ISBN   90-04-10437-2. According to some scholars including George Coedes the change occurred at the beginning of the 5th lunar month originally a few days before Songkhran.
  5. Thai2english.com Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine , dictionary

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An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

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.

Songkran (Thailand) Traditional Thai New Years holiday

Songkran is the Thai New Year's national holiday. Songkran is on the 13 April every year, but the holiday period extends from 14 to 15 April. In 2018 the Thai cabinet extended the festival nationwide to five days, 12–16 April, to enable citizens to travel home for the holiday. In 2019, the holiday was observed 12–16 April as 13 April fell on a Saturday. The word "Songkran" comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, literally "astrological passage", meaning transformation or change. The term was borrowed from Makar Sankranti, the name of a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in India in January to mark the arrival of spring. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart and with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia, in keeping with the Buddhist calendar. The New Year takes place at virtually the same time as the new year celebrations of many countries in South Asia like China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.

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Thai calendar Wikipedia disambiguation page

In Thailand, two main calendar systems are used alongside each other: the Thai solar calendar, based on the Gregorian calendar, used for official and most day-to-day purposes, and the Thai lunar calendar, used for traditional events and Buddhist religious practices.

Saura term found in Indian religions, and it connotes "sun" (Surya) or anything "solar"-related

Saura is a term found in Indian religions, and it connotes "sun" (Surya) or anything "solar"-related.

The Burmese calendar is a lunisolar calendar in which the months are based on lunar months and years are based on sidereal years. The calendar is largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, though unlike the Indian systems, it employs a version of the Metonic cycle. The calendar therefore has to reconcile the sidereal years of the Hindu calendar with the Metonic cycle's near tropical years by adding intercalary months and days at irregular intervals.

Chinese zodiac system that assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle

The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme based on the lunar calendar that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is an approximation to the 11.85-year orbital period of Jupiter. Originating from China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Chula Sakarat or Chulasakarat is a lunisolar calendar derived from the Burmese calendar, whose variants were in use by most mainland Southeast Asian kingdoms down to the late 19th century. The calendar is largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar though unlike the Indian systems, it employs a version of the Metonic cycle. The calendar therefore has to reconcile the sidereal years of the Hindu calendar with Metonic cycle's tropical years by adding intercalary months and intercalary days on irregular intervals.

Songkran Wikipedia disambiguation page

Songkran is a term derived from the Sanskrit word, saṅkrānti and used to refer to the traditional New Year celebrated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, parts of northeast India, parts of Vietnam and Xishuangbanna, China. It begins when the sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, as reckoned by sidereal astrology. It is related to the equivalent Hindu calendar-based New Year festivals in most parts of South Asia which are collectively referred to as Mesha Sankranti.

Siṃha is one of the twelve months in the Indian solar calendar.

Kanyā is one of the twelve months in the Indian solar calendar.

Tulā is one of the twelve months in the Indian solar calendar.

Mesha Sankranti

Mesha Sankranti refers to the first day of the solar cycle year, that is the solar New Year in the Hindu luni-solar calendar. The Hindu calendar also has a lunar new year, which is religiously more significant, and falls on different dates in the Amanta and Purinamanta systems prevalent across the Indian subcontinent. The solar cycle year is significant in Odia, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Bengali calendars.

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