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The Trilingual Afghan Calendar
|| 6/11/2008 || 7:50 pm || Comments Off on The Trilingual Afghan Calendar || ||

Last night I had someone from Pakistan query Google with the sentence “i want to see gregorian calendar 1387,” and the third result was my Zodiac link. After “reverse searching” the query I found this calendar for the year 1387 written in Dari, Pashto & English.

The following text was copied from the author, Emal Alekozai (thank you!) I will note there are some formatting issues with the tables, so bear with me.


Calendar algorithm

Definition

The Afghan calendar is defined in article 18 of the Afghan constitution from 2004:

Article 18:
The source for the calendar shall be based upon the migration of the Prophet (praise and peace be upon him). The basis for state offices shall be the solar calendar (Hejrah-e shamsi). Fridays as well as the 28th of Asad (19th, in leap years August 18th) and the 8th Saur (28th, in leap years April 27th) shall be public holidays. Other holidays shall be regulated by the law.


Calendar types

In Afghanistan one has to distinguish between three calendars:

  • Hejrah-e shamsi calendar (Solar Islamic): Is Afghanistan’s official calendar.
  • Gregorian calendar (Solar Christian): Is mainly used in international relations.
  • Hejrah-e qamari calendar (Lunar Islamic): Is used for religious holidays.

Hejrah-e shamsi calendar(Solar Islamic)

The Hejrah-e shamsi calendar starts from the year of the emigration (hejrah) of the Islamic Prophet Mohammad from Mecca to Medina in 622AD. It has 12 months, consisting of 29 to 31 days. The begin of the Hejrah-e shamsi Year (1. Hammal) corresponds to the March 21st (or March 20th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. The year has 365 days and in leap years 366 days. The leap years in the Hejrah-e shamsi calendar can be computed by a arithmetic formula. A year S in the Hejrah-e shamsi calendar is a leap year if and only if the Gregorian year G=S+621 is a leap year. In a Hejrah-e shamsi year S two Gregorian year G1 and G2 partly occur, with G1 greater than g2 . The Gregorian year G is chosen as G1. For example in the Hejrah-e shamsi year S=1379 the Gregorian year G1=2000 and G2=2001 partly occur. G is chosen as G:=G1=2000. The year 1379 of the Hejrah-e shamsi calendar was a leap year, since the year 2000 in the Gregorian calendar was a leap year.

Month Nr. Dari (Hejrah-e shamsi) Pashtu (Hejrah-e shamsi) English (Gregorien) Days
1 Hammal Wray March-April 31
2 Saur Ghwayai April-May 31
3 Jauza Gargholai May-June 31
4 Saratan Chungash June-July 31
5 Asad Zmarai July-August 31
6 Sonbola Wazhay August-September 31
7 Mizan Talah September-October 30
8 Aqrab Larum October-November 30
9 Qaus Lindah November-December 30
10 Jadi Merghumai December-January 30
11 Dalw Salwagah January-February 30
12 Hut Kab February-March 29 (30 in leap years)

Hejrah-e qamari calendar(Lunar Islamic) [-11 years]

The months in the Hejrah-e qamari calendar are alternatively 30 and 29 days long. In leap years the 12th month has 31 days. The Lunar year is eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. The Hejrah-e qamari calendar months “Ramadan” and “Shawwal” define the Muslim fasting. The starting day of these two months are observed by authorities. A difference of one day can occur between the observed and the pre-computed calendar. All 30 years a leap year occurs to synchronize the calendar with the moon phases.

Month Nr. Arabic (Hejrah-e qamari) Arabic shortcut (Hejrah-e qamari) amount days
1 Muharram Muharram 30
2 Safar Safar 29
3 Rabi’ al-Awal Rabi’1 30
4 Rabi’ al-Thaani Rabi’2 29
5 Jumada al-Awal Jumada1 30
6 Jumada al-Thaani Jumada2 29
7 Rajab Rajab 30
8 Sha’ban Sha’ban 29
9 Ramadan Ramadan 30
10 Shawwal Shawwal 29
11 Zul al-Qi’dah Z.Qi’dah 30
12 Zul al-Hijjah Z.Hijjah 29 (31 in leap years)

Conversion from/ to Gregorian calendar

The Gregorian year 2000 corresponds to the Hejrah-e shamsi year 1378 and the Hejrah-e qamari year 1420. To convert a date from the Gregorian to the Hejrah-e shamsi or Hejrah-e qamari calendar one can use the following reference dates:

  • The 1st Hammal of the year 1 in the Hejrah-e shamsi calendar corresponds to the 1st Muharram of the year 1 in the Hejrah-e qamari calendar and to the March 21st, 622 in the Gregorian calendar
  • January 1st, 2000 in the Gregorian calendar corresponds to the Jadi 11th, 1378 in the Hejrah-e shamsi calendar and to 24th Ramadan of the year 1420 in the Hejrah-e qamari calendar.


As someone who’s lived their entire life with one basic calendar style, featuring one language, I am really glad to see a different type of calendar. I hope to find some others in due time.

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