Indian Calendar 2008
Hindu Festival


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The Hindu Calendar

The Indian calendars are very interesting, but very complicated. Indians use both solar and lunisolar calendars. The solar calendars follow the sidereal year. The lunisolar calendars are of two types; some have months that run from new Moon to new Moon, while some have months that run from full Moon to full Moon. In addition to leap months, the lunisolar calendars sometimes skip months. They also follow the Moon for the days, so sometimes they skip or add days. They are probably the most complicated calendars currently used in the world. There are also several regional variations.

Commonly termed as panchang or panjika, the Hindu calendar is very important to the lives of the Indians. It is through it that they can calculate the special dates for many rituals, festivals and holidays. At first, the calendar is solely based on lunar movements and was patterned to allusions that are found in Rig Veda. But then after centuries AD, with the introduction of Babylonian and Greek astronomy, the calendar was based on lunar and solar movements. Generally, the festivals and other religious rituals are still based on the lunar movements.

In Hindu calendar, 12 months comprise the whole lunar year. Each month comprises of two fortnights or paksha-s - the bright fortnight or waxing moon and the dark fortnight or the waning moon. During the bright fortnight, days are called shukla. The start of the waxing moon is signaled with the full moon night also called as purnima. While a day during the dark fortnight is called krishna. A week in a Hindu calendar has 7 tithi or days.

Each day usually starts at dawn. This is the most important time of the day for Hindus since they consider this the most favorable time. They chant and do rituals during the early break of morning, at noon and during sunset.


Months of the Indian Civil Calendar    

Days Correlation of Indian/Gregorian
1. Caitra 30* Caitra 1 March 22*
2. Vaisakha 31 Vaisakha 1 April 21
3. Jyaistha 31 Jyaistha 1 May 22
4. Asadha 31 Asadha 1 June 22
5. Sravana 31 Sravana 1 July 23
6. Bhadra 31 Bhadra 1 August 23
7. Asvina 30 Asvina 1 September 23
8. Kartika 30 Kartika 1 October 23
9. Agrahayana 30 Agrahayana 1 November 22
10. Pausa 30 Pausa 1 December 22
11. Magha 30 Magha 1 January 21
12. Phalguna 30 Phalguna 1 February 20

* In a leap year, Caitra has 31 days and Caitra 1 coincides with March 21.

Hindu Festivals 2008

It was said that everyday in India, there is a reason to celebrate. Basically, this rooted from the fact that Hinduism is an organic religion. They consider anything to be scared and part of their divinity. So a harvest, new months, births, victory of gods, marriages, deaths or whatever event you still have in mind, there is reason to go out on the streets to enjoy festivity.

Also, reflected on Hindu festivals are legends that were passed from generations to generations. There are explanations for celebrating this certain holiday that is associated with the gods.

The major holidays in 2008 that brings the whole Indian community to gather and celebrate includes: 


01 Tuesday New Year
05 Saturday Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
09 Wednesday Muharam (Al Hijra)
13 Sunday Lohri
14 Monday Makar Sankranti
14 Monday Pongal
26 Saturday Republic Day


07 Thursday Mauni Amavashya
07 Thursday Indian New Year
11 Monday Vasant Panchmi
14 Thursday Valentines Day


02 Sunday Mothering Sunday (UK)
06 Thursday Mahashivratri
16 Sunday Palm Sunday
20 Thursday Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet)
21 Friday Good Friday
21 Friday Nau Roz
22 Saturday Holi
22 Saturday Holla Mohalla
23 Sunday Easter Sunday
26 Wednesday Khordad Sal, Birth of Prophet Zaranhushtra


06 Sunday Bikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year)
06 Sunday Gudi Padwa
14 Monday Baisakhi
14 Monday Ram Navmi
18 Friday Mahavir Jayanti
19 Saturday Hanuman Jayanti
20 Sunday Passover
27 Sunday Easter


11 Sunday Mother's Day
20 Tuesday Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima


13 Friday Ganga Dussehra
15 Sunday Father's Day


16 Wednesday Rath Yatra
18 Friday Guru Poornima


03 Sunday Friendship Day
15 Friday Independence Day
16 Saturday Rakhi
19 Tuesday Parsi New Year
24 Sunday Sri Krishna Janmashtami


02 Tuesday Ramadan Starts
03 Wednesday Ganesh Chaturathi
05 Friday Teachers Day
12 Friday Onam
29 Monday Navaratri begin


02 Thursday Gandhi Jayanti
02 Thursday Id-Ul-Fitr -Ramadan Ends
09 Thursday Dussehra
18 Saturday Karva Chauth
26 Sunday Dhan Teras
28 Tuesday Diwali
29 Wednesday Govardhan Puja
30 Thursday Bhai Duj
31 Friday Halloween


13 Thursday Guru Nanak Jayanti
14 Friday Children's Day
27 Thursday Thanksgiving Day


11 Thursday Eid-Ul-Adha
22 Monday Hanukkah
25 Thursday Christmas

Hindu New Year

Ugadi or the Hindu New Year is celebrated on different day for each year since their calendar is lunisolar. This day starts with prayers and rituals. After which, people gather to feast on sumptuous meals. They believe that life is a mixture of triumphs and sorrows and that they should accept that fact together with the community.

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