Trivia Thursday: Different Kinds Of Calendars

Trivia Thursday: Different Kinds Of Calendars

As one more calendar year comes to an end, let us take a look at some different types of calendars that different cultures follow along with their history and contemporary relevance in this weeks’ Trivia Thursday.

Happy reading and a very happy new year!

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at different calendars and how each calendar is different from the other.

Gregorian v/s Julian Calendar

  • The Julian Calendar was introduced in 45 BC by Julius Caesar.
  • The Gregorian Calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
  • The new calendar was introduced to re-align spring equinox and easter to the seasons.
  • To switch to the Gregorian calendar, the United Kingdom and its colonies decided to shift to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, they had to omit 11 days.
  • This calendar is used everywhere around the world except North Korea. The Juche calendar has the same division of months and days in them but begins with the birth of Kim Il-sung, 1912. In 2011 it was only year 100 for inhabitants of North Korea.

Hindu Calendar

  • Hindu calendar, also called the Panchang follows the motion of the moon.
  • A lunar year has 354 days and 12 months.
  • Every 3 years, another month called ‘Adhik’ is added. This month is considered to be very auspicious and is referred to as the month of Lord Purushottam.
  • Various eras are used for numbering the years; the most common are the Vikrami Era, beginning with the coronation of King Vikramaditya in 57 BCE, and the Shaka Era, counting from 78 CE.
  • Another system is of Yugas, of which currently the KaliYuga is ongoing. For these three systems, the year 2020 corresponds to 2077, 1942, and 5122 respectively.
  • The day usually begins at dawn, or just before. It is divided into 15 muhurtas, each of about 48 minutes, and the night is similarly divided.
  • The first two muhurtas (about one hour) of the morning before dawn are considered most auspicious, especially for spiritual practices.

Hebrew Calendar

  • The Hebrew calendar, also called the Jewish calendar was based on the lunar cycle.
  • As a result, an extra month had to be added to the year every three to four years to make up for the difference.
  • However, that system changed over time and the calculations of the months and years started to rely more on mathematical calculations.
  • The calendar is still followed by the Jews to mark religious holidays and important events. The current year, according to this calendar is AM 5781.

Hijri Calendar

  • The Hijri Calendar or Islam Calendar is based on lunar phases, it uses a system of 12 months and either 354 or 355 days every year and After 33 years, the cycle repeats itself.
  • Four of the 12 months in the Islamic calendar are considered sacred.
  • The first Islamic year was 622 AD when Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina to set up the first Muslim ummah or community.
  • This is used to identify Islamic holidays and festivals. 2020 in Islamic calendar translated to 1442.

Chinese Calendar

  • The Chinese calendar is based on a lunisolar system.
  • According to this system, each month begins on the day when the moon is in the “new moon” phase.
  • The beginning of a new year is also marked by the position of the moon and occurs when the moon is midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox.
  • Officially, the country uses the Gregorian calendar although the Chinese calendar is used to celebrate holidays.
  • 4718 is the current year, according to this calendar.

Japanese Calendar

  • Since 1873, the Japanese calendar has used the solar year of the Gregorian calendar.
  • The country also uses era names, a system adopted from Chinese practice.
  • Under this system, the rule of each emperor begins a new era.
  • Before 1873, however, the eras were marked by important events rather than the rule of an emperor.
  • At 62 years and 2 weeks, Shōwa, under the reign of King Hirohito, is the longest era to date.
  • The current era is called Reiwa, under the current King Naruhito.
  • According to this calendar, 2020 is Reiwa 2.

Take a look at our previous Trivia Thursday here: Notable Indian Mathematicians In History