Types of Calendars

Types of Calendar is a system that defines date, month and year. Calendars not only helps its user to identify the day but also keeps him abreast of upcoming events and appointments. Types of Calendars also helps him to efficiently manage his time.

Some calendars follow the movement of Sun while others follow the cycle of moon.

Solar Calendar

Solar Calendar is finalized on the basis of movement of Sun around the Earth. It has 365 days in a year but every fourth year is a leap year i.e. an extra day is added to the month of February.

Julian Calendar, Gregorian calendar, Bahá'í calendar, Malayalam calendar and Thai calendar are some of the examples of solar calendar.

Julian Calendar

It is introduced by Julius Caesar, was first used in 45 BC. The calendar had 365 days in a year comprising of 12 months. Every fourth year was celebrated as a leap year with a day added to February.

Gregorian Calendar

which is the most widely used calendar the world over, is named after Pope Gregory XIII who had sanctioned this type of calendar on February 24, 1582. Years in the calendar are numbered from the year Jesus Christ was born.

Gregorian Calendar

which is the modified version of Julian calendar, dropped some days from the Julian calendar to >make it short and more synchronized with seasons. The basic difference between Julian and Gregorian calendar is that the latter drops three leap days after every 400 years.

Bahai Calendar

It is used by Bahai community, has 365 days in a year and 366 days in a leap year. Interestingly, Bahai calendar has 19 months in a year and its week starts from Saturday and ends on Friday.

Malayalam Calendars

It is used in the state of Kerala in India, has been in use from 825 AD. Onam festival, celebrating the beginning of the harvest season in mid-August, marks the beginning of the Malayalam New Year. It has 365 days in a year.

Lunar Calendar

It is based on the motion of moon. It has 12 lunation or months comprising of 29 to 30 days as against 30 to 31 days in a Solar Calendar. In some lunar calendars like Chinese calendar, a month starts on the day of the arrival of the new moon while in others, the first day of the month is determined by the day the crescent of the moon is sighted.

Islamic calendar, Hindu calendar and Chinese calendar are some of the examples of lunar calendars.

Islamic Calendar

which is generally used in all Muslim-dominated countries, always consists of 12 lunation or months. Mainly used for religious purposes, this calendar helps Muslims all over the world determine Islamic holy days like Id, Moharram etc.

Hindu Calendar

Calendar starts on Baisakhi, which falls on April 13, marking the beginning of the harvest season. There are 12 lunar months and every month begins with the occurrence of a new moon before sunrise. There are around 29 to 30 days in a lunar month as against 30 to 31 days of Solar Calendar.

Two types of calendar are used in India – Vikrama calendar followed by people in North India and Nepal, and Shalivahana, which is followed by devotees in South India and Maharashtra. Both the calendars have 12 months and their sequence too is same. The only difference between the two calendars is that they celebrate New Year on different months.

Chinese Calendar

It believed to be the oldest calendar system in the world that is still in use. Its first ruler Huang Di invented this. However, subsequent rulers made some modifications to the calendar. A regular year in the Chinese calendar has 12 lunar months and every day starts at 2300 hrs instead of midnight. The first day of every month has to be on the day of occurrence of the new moon. An extra month is added to the second or third year of the Calendar.

Many countries use two calendars – Gregorian calendar for general use and some calendars like Hebrew, Hindu, Chinese and even Islamic for religious purposes.