Hindu Calendar and Gregorian Calendar: A Comparison


It is the identity that drives the human race on this earth as well as individual and collective pragmatism, cultural authenticity, and social progress. Reason being each generation, each community and each society has tried to establish their version of understanding as to the absolute truth and more righteous.

One of the means that has remained so tightly associated with the identity quest is the origination Calendar. We tend to believe to have its roots in the changing times but ostensibly speaking, it has more or less to do with the establishment of the era.

In this given time in India, two different calendars are in use; the Hindu Calendar And the Gregorian Calendar. The most visible difference between the two calendars is their basis. While the Hindu calendar is based on the moon’s movement, the Gregorian one is based on the movement of the earth around the sun.

The Hindu Calendar

The Hindu calendar was first established in the 5th century, is focused on planetary alignment and the marking of holy festivals. A Hindu calendar is seldom referred to as Panchanga. There are different variations of the Hindu calendar that are used in India. Different tribes tend to use versions of the Hindu calendar that emphasize on festivals that are important to their communities. Since the Vedic times, the Hindu calendars have been in use in the Indian subcontinents, and remain in use till date.

The Hindu calendar existed since ancient times. In the Hindu calendar, the moon is used as a giant clock. As per the calendar, a month is a time from new moon to new moon. The dates are called as tithi in Hindu Calendar, a month includes 30 tithis and a year has 12 months.

The Gregorian Calendar

The Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582 to align the celebration of the Christian festival of the Easter. The
Gregorian calendar is also known as the Western calendar or English Calendar, was named after Pope Gregory XIII. The Gregorian calendar was a revision of the Julian calendar. It shrank the Calendar year by 0.0075 days to halt the drift of the calendar with respect to the equinoxes.

Hindu Calendar and Gregorian Calendar: Comparison

  • The Hindu Calendar established around the 5th century, while the Gregorian calendar was announced by Pope Gregory XIII in the 15th century.
  • One of the most striking asymmetries is with regard to the calculation of the New Year despite the fact that both the calendars have 12 months. Vikram Samvatsaram has been officially adopted as an Indian national calendar, which celebrates the new year on the eve of the full moon of the last month. Therefore, the Amavasya is the last day of the calendar, which falls in between October 3 week and November 2nd week of the Gregorian calendar.
  • Based on a Solar system, the Gregorian calendar has finalized the day of the new year. According to the western calendar, December is the last month and the first day of January begins the mark of the new year. The Gregorian reforms were introduced to finalize the date of the Easter that should be aligned with the Church’s comfort.
  • Another major difference is about the how the days are calculated while the Gregorian calendar bases its premise on how the Earth revolves around the sun, while the Hindu calendar has its calculations defined on how the moon revolves around the Earth.
  • One major change that can be seen between the two is about the number of days. While the Hindu calendar has fixed 28 days cycle for each month, the Gregorian calendar either has 30 or 31 days in its months. It is, therefore, the Hindu calendar adds “Adhik Maas” each year to meet the target of 365 days.
  • One of the bases of the calendar is the seasons. Here too, two calendars differ with each other. While According to the Hindu Calendar, there are 6 official seasons, whereas in the English calendar there are only 4 seasons.
  • Last but not least. If you think that the Hindu calendar has 60 minutes of hour divided into 24 sections, you are wrong. It has each Muhurta of 48 minutes and has 15 Muhurtas to calculate the day.

Final Words

However, in totality, if you see, it has to do with the identity of the community, civilization or the era. More or less, they reflect the supremacy of the power of that time, which has a larger influence on the mass. The calendar is more about the local culture, festivals, and seasons. Therefore, it’s anything but natural to have differences.

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